Gas survivors take out torch rally

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Dec 2017 11:49:46


Staff Reporter,

On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, hundreds of survivors marched with flaming torches to the memorial statue of the gas affected mother opposite the Union Carbide factory. They paid homage to those killed by the disaster at the end of the rally. Residents of the communities next to the Union Carbide factory, where the ground water is contaminated by hazardous chemical waste, were also part of the march.

The demands include ensuring immediate implementation of long-pending recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed Monitoring Committee for medical rehabilitation of the Bhopal gas victims. Besides, free healthcare for all victims of contaminated soil and ground water and their children as per scientific findings of Government agencies.

The rehabilitation and healthcare for all children with congenital birth defects due to parent’s exposure to toxic gases or contaminated ground water is still pending. The publication of research on appropriate medical interventions for protection and care of the health of all victims of Union Carbide in Bhopal and on long-term health damage due to toxic exposure needs to be materialised. Gas survivors family also demanded economic and social rehabilitation, to ensure immediate payment of monthly pension to over 5,000 women widowed by the gas disaster as per State Government’s records.

Provide vocational training and placement of 14,000 wards of gas victims registered for economic rehabilitation by the State Government, besides environmental rehabilitation to ensure comprehensive global standard scientific assessment of the soil and groundwater up to 5 kilometers of the abandoned Union Carbide factory. Excavate and safely contain thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste left buried by Union Carbide management to prevent further contamination. The Dow Chemical Company cleaned up contamination in and around the Bhopal factory as per the terms of the lease with the State Government.

Make Dow Chemical 100% owner of Union Carbide appear in Bhopal District Court so that Union Carbide can be tried for culpable homicide and other grave criminal charges. Ensure that ex-gratia payment of Rs two lakh is made according to records of Government hospitals for gas victims that show permanent health damage due to the gas disaster in over 80 % of the registered victims. Ensure payment of compensation by the Dow Chemical Company to victims of ongoing contamination of soil and ground water in Bhopal. Leaders of the five survivors’ organizations Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow / Carbide who organised the march demanded adequate compensation, clean-up of environmental contamination, rehabilitation, appropriate medical care and exemplary punishment to Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.