Thursday, February 29, 2024

Cricket World Cup: Free tickets & coupons on offer, women to pack stands today for World Cup opener

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Lalit Wadhawan, the BJP vice-president of the Bodakdev area, stated that the decision to invite women to the stadium was influenced by the recent passing of the women’s reservation bill in Parliament last month.

On Wednesday, local BJP leader Lalit Wadhawan distributed World Cup tickets in Ahmedabad. The event was covered by Nirmal Harindran.

Preparations are underway for an anticipated crowd of 30,000-40,000 women from various parts of Ahmedabad to attend the opening match of the Cricket World Cup between defending champions England and New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday, free of charge.

The BJP’s city ward-level network is actively encouraging women to fill the stands. Local leaders are distributing tickets and ensuring complimentary coupons for tea and lunch.

Lalit Wadhawan, the BJP vice-president of the Bodakdev area, revealed that the initiative to invite women to the stadium was inspired by the recent passage of the women’s reservation bill in Parliament last month.

All 10 captains pose with the trophy. 

“Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 women from Ahmedabad will be attending the game at the stadium tomorrow. Our volunteers have been instructed to provide names, and the tickets were distributed to them today. The tickets have come from higher authorities. You see, the 33 per cent women reservation Bill has also been passed. These women will make their way to the stadium independently and will receive tea and food coupons,” Wadhawan informed The Indian Express.

When questioned about whether the party had taken any specific measures to encourage women to attend the opening match, Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas responded, “We haven’t undertaken any party-led initiatives for such a thing. If women choose to attend in significant numbers, that’s perfectly fine. However, the party isn’t organizing any special efforts for this.”

The citywide mobilization efforts began a few days ago when BJP ward members utilized WhatsApp messages to instruct their workers. They were tasked with compiling a list of women interested in attending the World Cup match from various societies, apartments, and their designated booth areas. The workers were then required to send the names and mobile numbers of these women to the designated local leader.

The city-level network of BJP’s wards is organizing the mobilization of women to fill the stands. Local leaders are distributing tickets and ensuring complimentary coupons for tea and lunch.

“The passes will exclusively admit women, each receiving two tokens for tea, one for breakfast, and one for a food packet,” read a forwarded message sent out, confirming that all names had been submitted by 5 pm on Monday.

In contrast, the match between England and New Zealand, teams that battled it out in an intense World Cup final four years ago, has not sold out. This is despite the stadium being the largest in the world, with a capacity of over 1.3 lakh spectators.

A senior official from the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) remarked, “In other places, schoolchildren are invited to attend the game as it fills up the stadium and creates a vibrant atmosphere. The only distinction here is the presence of women in the stands.” When asked about ticket availability and payments, the official chose not to comment.

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