100 children rally against Gas Relief Minister Gaur

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

November 17, 2008
*Press Statement*
Over a hundred children from the communities near the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal today set fire to an effigy of the Minister for Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation at Neelam Park. They appealed to all citizens poisoned by Union Carbide to do their best to ensure that the Minister is not re-elected from his constituency that includes areas contaminated by Union Carbide’s poisonous chemical waste.
Photos: Prakash Hatvalne
The children said that because of their age they can not cast their vote but the outcome of the election could potentially influence their future in a big way. Ashsish (13) from Shiv Nagar said that if people vote for Mr Babulal Gaur in this election they will be condemning themselves and their children to a toxic future. Rafat (14) from Gupta Colony said that the people in the polluted areas have voted for Mr. Gaur eight times in the past, yet he has always neglected the people here. She said that four years ago the Supreme Court of India had directed Mr. Gaur’s government to supply clean water in these areas but because of his neglect till today people are forced to drink poisoned water.
Sarita (14) from Prem Nagar said that too many children in the polluted areas are being born with physical and mental disabilities. There are children with damaged brains, with cleft lips and missing palates, with their fingers all joined together, with twisted limbs being born in families that have used the local groundwater from hand pumps for many years. She said that when people went to request Mr Gaur to arrange for medical treatment and rehabilitation for the children born with disabilities he refused to listen to them.
Vicky (12) said that Shiv Nagar where he lived with his family was more than 2 kilometers away from Union Carbide’s factory and because of continued neglect by Mr Gaur the poisons had spread over the years and reached his community. He said that Mr. Gaur has thrice been the Minister in charge of relief and rehabilitation of Union Carbide’s victims and once he was even the chief minister and till today he has not done anything to improve the conditions of the poison affected people or to protect future generations from deadly poisons.
Yasmeen (13) from Gupta Colony said that she had walked all the way from Bhopal to New Delhi in February – March this year asking for rehabilitation and justice for the people poisoned by Union Carbide. “We won our battle after five months of struggle and the Prime Minister said that an Empowered Commission on Bhopal will be set up but now Mr Gaur is opposing the setting up of this Commission” said Yasmin who is determined to do her share to defeat Mr. Gaur in the election.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action


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