27 June 2011
One hundred Bhopali children affected by Union Carbide’s poisons demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister’s office today, demanding medical care, rehabilitation and poison-free environment. Wearing signs with words like Justice and Izzat (dignity), members of the Bhopal-based Children Against Dow-Carbide held a banner with their demands in front of the North Block office.
The children said that this was the fourth time they were trying to draw the attention of the Prime Minister towards governmental inaction on environmental and health rehabilitation schemes in Bhopal.
“Since 2006, we have sought help from Dr. Manmohan Singh for the children of Bhopal who are still denied medical care and rehabilitation and who are still forced to drink poisoned water.” said Safreen Khan one of the founders of. Children Against Dow Carbide. Safreen charged the Government with displaying more care for the financial health of Union Carbide and its owner Dow Chemical than for the children of Bhopal.
Manoj Yadav from the community affected by ground water contamination by Union Carbide’s hazardous waste, said that while there were many children and adults with diseases caused by the poisons, they were denied free treatment at government hospitals.
Yasmin Khan whose parents were affected by the Union Carbide’s poisonous gases in December 1984 and now lives in the area with contaminated ground water said that hundreds of children are being born with congenital malformations to parents with exposure to poisons. She said that the government has not made any arrangement to provide rehabilitation for these children. “The Government should ensure that these children get a fair chance at living a life of dignity.” Yasmin said.
Young leaders of the Bhopali children said that many of the congenital deformities are reversible. Corrective surgeries can help children with physical deformities. Some mentally- and physically-challenged children too can be helped to lead normal lives if special-care institutions are set up and run.
The children pointed out that despite a 2005 order of the Supreme Court of India the people living next to Union Carbide’s abandoned factory were not being supplied clean water. A child from these communities, Asma said that thousands of tonnes of toxic waste from the factory lies buried next to their home. “The Prime Minister must make Dow Chemical clean up the poisons or they will continue to harm generations.” said Asma.
Children Against Dow-Carbide
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