The 5th Meghalaya Games are historic in that the statewide event is being held, for the very first time, outside Shillong with Tura given the honour and responsibility of hosting the sports extravaganza.
It was special also because no less a personality than the President of India inaugurated the Games yesterday.
However, her visit apparently caused some bumps and led to athletes going hungry on the opening day.
A now viral photo has detailed what the athletes who were gathered at the PA Sangma Stadium for the launch had to subsist on – a box of (mostly) junk food.
The organisers felt compelled to make a statement today on the lack of food, with Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Shakliar Warjri saying that it was the security protocols surrounding the President’s visit that prevented athletes from getting proper food.
Two sets of packed food were meant to be provided to the athletes at the venue. Once the complaints were raised, “the matter of insufficient food was promptly addressed by the authorities,” the statement said, adding that dinner was “activated” by 7pm.
Meghalaya State Olympic Association John F Kharshiing said that the Games’ organising committee “deeply regrets” inconvenience faced by those who did not get the proper food.
There have been other issues that have done the rounds on social media as well. A football official, clearly out of breath as he narrated the travails he and some footballers were experiencing, said in a video that they all had to walk back to their place of stay from the opening ceremony in the evening.
Another video showed catering staff cleaning used plates of leftover food with what looked like a toilet brush.
And, a day or two before the actual event, during a practice run for the President’s visit, a dog was apparently hit by a car in the dummy convoy. Unfortunately that was not the only animal harmed by the visit of the President.
Today, while on her way to Mawphlang for a programme not connected with the Meghalaya Games, the lead police vehicle in her convoy ran over a goat, killing it outright in what was a rather distressing scene.