'BEGGARS TOWN' AS MEMORIAL
From Susan Woodfall BOMBAY A " BEGGARS' Town " to shelter and rehabilitate some of the thousands of young and old, disabled and diseased, who daily walk the streets of this crowded city has been suggested by Cardinal Gracias as a suitable memorial to the coming International Eucharistic Congress.
The Congress, being held on Indian soil for the first time, will run from November 28 to December 6 this year.
Although, says the Cardinal. many might consider it more prudent to expand the institutions we already have, or to concentrate on helping the newly-opened St. John's Medical School and Hospital at Bangalore, it has been suggested that the most suitable project would be one in which every citizen of Bombay could join.
The government, says Cardinal Gracias, might be asked to provide land. not less than 100 acres in ex tent, either free or at a nominal price. On this would be built a Preen Nagar, a "City of Love".
There, he says, "all destitute will be welcome regardless of age, sex, caste. community Or creed, If ill. they will receive medical attention: if in heatth, work will he provided; if young. they will be taught a trade; if old they will be looked after with loving care . . . deantution will he the only qualification, love the only force".
In all. three types of memorial are planned, spiritual, cultural and social. The spiritual memorial, says the Cardinal, could be a monastery or church where the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed for all time. The Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament have been approached on this. Ideas for the cultural memorial include a university-standard public library, or a University for the promotion of Catholic Culture.
Meanwhile. as the Cardinal's own housing plans to accommodate more than 400 families in flat and tenement blocks get under way, reports are coming of the steadily increasing pressure of work on the Congress Organisation.
Floating hotels in the Arabian Sea, 200 dancers. 4.000 taxis, and the provision of thousands of beds are Just a few of the worries facing them. Print order for the Congress Bulletin has increased this week from 15.000 to 20,000.
Communication prohlems are already being solved. Daily tape recordings of the sessions will he flown out to Vatican Radio for rebroadcasting. Fr. Agnellus Andrew. O.E.M., will he representing the BBC and both television and radio programmes will be beamed out of India via New Delhi.