Because of the unseasonal rains (which lashed central India after midnight, accompanied by lightning and power failures) most of the participants at Baramati VI  arrived late at the venue. At the dinner table, at starting time, there were just three other participants who had flown in from abroad, via Mumbai.
"All flights are delayed by two hours," the director of the VIIT to volunteers, and the mood sunk. Even the Baramati skies appear overcast. Earlier, while I sat through a sandlewood-paste flavoured beard-trim (Rs 15) at the local roadside makeshift haircutting saloon, the TV spoke of rainy weather warnings.
Just four days before the WSF starts in Karachi on 24th March, it is common knowledge that leading women rights organizations in Pakistan have detached themselves from the WSF and will not participate in any event.
I've lost all sense of time, but my mobile phone (which fortunately works 800 kms away from home) tells me it's 10:29 am on March 9, 2006. Later today, the 6th Annual Baramati Initiative on Source: APC">ICTand Development (focussing on The Potential of e-Agriculture) gets underway at this rural, but education-oriented island two hours away from Pune in Central India.
Internet traffic in Pakistan is very controlled as more than 90% of it is routed through Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE).
Ungana-Afrika is looking for organisations interested in eRiding in Southern Africa. Do you have what it takes?
Here is a good piece by Judy Rebick and Velcrow Ripper about the WSF. They say that "The inclusion of aboriginal people in this World Social Forum was a welcome change from the past. Another was the much greater participation of women in many of the panels. Women's issues were also a major theme of the event." Read the full article A tale of two social forums
Hey, consider checking out Open Flows to get the latest update about the presence of free and open source software (Free Software Foundation ">FOSS) present in Caracas for the World Social Forum. The article Open Systems for Open Politics by Stefania Milan (IPS correspondent from Italy) gives you a couple of quick facts about the open information systems in place. She says that "All of about 1,000 computers at the forum are using free software. The official website has been developed for the first time in 'php'..." and it goes on. Great resource.
One of the most stimulating opportunities for democratising communications offered by the Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internetwas discussed in the “Radio and internet: the great technological challenge” workshop, organised by the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. The activity was moderated my Santiago Garcia, technical consultant of the non-governmental organisation Passionate Radio Broadcasters out of Lima, Peru.
The role of the WSF is to help us ask the right questions when we return home.