From Brazil to India

For Brazilian delegates Fr. Paul Sergio Vaillant S.J. and Martinus Leinz, memories of Porto Alegre and the first images of Mumbai entering their hearts made a comparison between the two inevitable. Both were impressed by the sheer mass of people, about 100,000, who attended the inaugural function. No such huge crowds ever gathered at Porto Alegre. Paul Sergio was impressed by the social condition of the participants. While in Porto Alegre NGOs, middle class groups, and students were clearly visible, in Mumbai the participation of the poor, dalits and tribals was overwhelming. Both were surprised at the capacity shown by India?s civil society to prepare the entire event. Delays and lack of communication between the organisers and the masses seemed to be the major drawbacks. [HL40109]