Ensure Justice and Life of Dignity for the Bhopal Survivors

Ensure Justice and Life of Dignity for the Bhopal Survivors and their children, well before the Fourth Decade Begins

New Delhi, December 3 : On the 29th Anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG) organised a solidarity action at Penshion Parishad Jan Sansad remembering thousands who lost their lives on the fateful day of 3rd December, 1984. Hundreds of people, gathered at the Jantar Mantar and stood in solidarity with the struggle of Bhopal survivors in their quest for justice. The Bhopal disaster continues even today, at least one person dies every day in the Bastis around the factory, due to poisoned water, food, air and the genetic disorders induced in the survivors. The demand was loud and clear. No More Bhopal Ever!

Sh. Kuldip Nayar (Senior Journalist, Ex-Parliamentarian), Sh. Raghu Rai (Renowned Photographer), Com. Gautam Mody (Secretary, NTUI), Sh. Manglesh Dabral (Renowned Hindi Poet), Anjali Deshpande (Journalist), Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Roma (AIUFWP), Bhupender Singh Rawat (NAPM) and many others joined the action and demanded an end to policies leading to industrial disasters like Bhopal in India. They condemned government policies which continue to favour corporations at the cost of lives of people and nature and extended solidarity to the struggle of Bhopal gas survivors.

Photographs from the struggle and continuing disaster in Bhopal were exhibited, excerpts from poems, fiction and other literature on Bhopal Tragedy were read by Manglesh Dabral, Anjali Deshpande, Suroopa Mukherji, Songs of Resistance were sung by Pratidhawni and Jaya Iyer and her team performed Street Plays, leading to a candle light vigil in memory of those who died and the survivors who continue struggle for justice and a life of dignity.

The struggle of Bhopal survivors against Dow Chemicals is today emblematic of the communities struggle across country against corporations. Whether it is the struggle of Adivasis of Niyamgiri against Vedanta, villagers of Plachimada against Coca-Cola, villagers of Jagatsinghpur against POSCO, factory workers against Maruti Suzuki, farmers against Monsanto, and many others. The larger message today is that these are not segregated struggles of peoples’ movements against few specific evil Corporations. It is a fierce challenge to the unaccountable power of the larger Corporate Structure, which uses their muscle and money power to thwart any kind of resistance targeted at them.

The solidarity action was joined by members of National Alliance of People’s Movements, All India Union of Forest Working People, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Domestic Workers Union, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union, Delhi Solidarity Group and many Delhi based civil society organisations. They endorsed the demands of the Bhopal gas Survivors and their supporters who are organising actions in Bhopal and many other places including one in USA and UK.

One Year for the Government of India to Ensure that:

  1. The Curative petition before the Supreme Court of India for additional compensation from Dow Chemical / Union Carbide is based on correct figures of deaths and injuries and best efforts are made for its adjudication in favour of the Bhopal victims.

  2. Dow Chemical is not allowed to make any investments in the country directly or indirectly till it accepts Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal.

  3. The prosecution agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) brings Union Carbide Corporation and Warren Anderson before the Bhopal District Court in the pending criminal case.

  4. The CBI through a Special Prosecution Cell does its best to send Keshub Mahindra and others accused to jail for at least 10 years.

  5. The Bhopal Memorial Hospital has full facilities for treatment of all diseases known to be associated with exposure to Union Carbide’s poisons.

  6. The National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) provides treatment protocols specific to exposure related health problems and carries out medical research that benefits the gas victims and those exposed to contaminated ground water.

  7. A comprehensive scientific assessment of the nature, depth and spread of contamination is carried out by a competent agency for clean up and assessment of liability.

  8. Epidemiological studies are carried out particularly to document the health impact of chronic exposure to contaminated ground water and children with congenital malformations born to gas and contaminated water exposed parents.

  9. An Empowered Commission on Bhopal is constituted with adequate funds, authority and participation of survivors’ representatives for planning, implementation and monitoring medical, social, economic and environmental rehabilitation.

One Year for the Government of Madhya Pradesh to Ensure that:

  1. All hospitals run by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department are adequately staffed, stock quality medicines, are fully computerised and use standardized treatment protocols.

  2. Every person known to be injured by the disaster and / or exposed to contaminated ground water receives a health book that ensures free health care at government run hospitals.

  3. Every person known to be disabled or turned destitute as a result of the disaster receives a monthly pension of at least Rs. 1000/- as social support.

  4. It presents the factual situation with regard to contamination of soil and groundwater in and around the Carbide factory in the US Federal Court as a Respondent in the suit filed by Bhopal plaintiffs.

  5. All residents of the communities affected by ground water contamination are provided clean piped water.

  6. All children of gas and contaminated water exposed parents with congenital disabilities receive access to rehabilitation and medical care.

One Year for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical to Ensure that they:

  1. Cease to abscond from justice and answer, through their designated officials, charges of manslaughter and grievous assault in the criminal case pending before the Bhopal District Court.

  2. Respond positively to the Government of India’s Curative Petition in the Supreme Court of India and make financial arrangements for compensating actual number of deaths and injuries caused as a result of the December 1984 gas disaster.

  3. Set aside sufficient funds for clean up of contaminated soil and ground water in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory and for health monitoring of the affected population.

One Year for the Government of USA to Ensure that:

  1. The US Government acknowledge and express regret for financing, through its EXIM Bank, the construction of the hazardously designed plant that caused the world’s worst industrial disaster.

  2. Authorized representatives of Union Carbide Corporation cease to abscond justice in Indian courts and appear in the pending criminal case arising from the disaster in Bhopal.

  3. Warren Anderson former Chairman of Union Carbide is extradited from USA to answer charges of manslaughter and grievous assault in the Bhopal District Court.

  4. Dow Chemical and Union Carbide pay penalties for the deaths and injuries caused by the 1984 gas disaster at rates comparable to those paid by British Petroleum for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

  5. Dow Chemical and Union Carbide clean up the contaminated soil and ground water in and around the abandoned pesticide factory and provide for health monitoring of the affected population.

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