Card Gracias offers support and prayers to Mumbai wall collapse survivors (photos)
by Nirmala Carvalho

The collapse of a wall caused the death of 18 people. The Church of St Jude was the first to bring relief. The archdiocese is raising funds and distributing aid through young volunteers.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, visited survivors and relatives of the victims of a collapsed wall in Malad East, a northern suburb of the supercity.

Yesterday, the prelate met with about a hundred people at St Jude, the first parish to bring aid to the scene of the disaster thanks to its parishioners.

The cardinal spoke with the victims’ relatives, heard their stories and tried to comfort them. He encouraged them not to lose hope (aasha in Hindi).

Assuring them of the Church's support, he announced the donation of 1.5 million rupees (US$ 22,000), in addition to the money raised by the various parishes of the archdiocese and by Catholic organisations and distributed through St Jude parish.

The wall collapsed on 2 July due to non-stop rains that swamped the city. The unexpected weather event caused the death of 18 people. Right away many Catholics raised funds and brought relief.

Since the site of the disaster is inaccessible to tracked vehicles because of its location in a hilly area, aid was handed out by volunteers forming a human chain.

Card Gracias thanked all of them, offering his prayers to the people who continue to bring basic necessities and aid, including many young people from the parishes.