New Delhi: The night of December 2, 1984 has stretched into 23 years, but the Bhopal gas tragedy lives on in the minds of people and in their bodies.
One of the survivors of the tragedy, Rashida Bi says that they are still forced to drink contaminated water as they do not have access to clean water.
Sometimes to survive is also to perish, like 70 of the survivors did, by breaching a high-security zone to literally knock on the Prime Minister’s door, hoping that he would hear them.
However, the only ones who heard the victims gate-crashing the PM’s residence were his security, who carried the protestors — including 39 children — away, and these survivors once again became victims and landed in the police station instead of getting the justice that they were hoping would be doled out to them.
Fighting ill health, the victims of the 1984 tragedy had walked to Delhi two years ago. A hunger strike that time had won them a meeting with the Prime Minister and they had been promised that their demand for clean drinking water for the 25,000 survivors would be met.
An activist for the victims of the tragedy, Nityanand says, “We walked to Delhi in 2006. Two years have passed and we are yet to receive even a drop of clean drinking water.”
Meanwhile, the Group of Ministers on the Bhopal gas tragedy, headed by Arjun Singh is yet to hear them out for an empowered commisson on Bhopal, and a separate law for the gas-affected people, and most importantly, to deliver justice to them.
It has been a very long walk from Bhopal to Delhi and a long wait in Jantar Mantar for the victims of the gas tragedy, which include physically and mentally challenged children.
However, it seems as if the matter was not important enough for the Prime Minister to even consider meeting them — not even when they tried to gate-crash into his residence in a desperate bid to get what every human being deserves, clean drinking water.