Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 25
As many as 39 survivors of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy today reached Delhi for a do-or-die battle after a 800-km trek from Bhopal that took them 33 days.
Stressing that justice still eludes victims of the Union Carbide chemical leak tragedy, the ‘padyatris’, several of them above 60 years of age, say they will start a fast unto death here next month till their six-point charter of demands is met by the government.
The demands include setting up of a national commission on Bhopal to oversee medical and social rehabilitation of the victims for the next 30 years, supply of safe drinking water to communities currently drinking poisoned water, speedy prosecution of the accused, including Union Carbide Corporation and its former chairman; environmental remediation, a ban on Dow Chemical and its subsidiary Union Carbide’s business in India and memorialising the disaster story by including it in school and college curriculum.
“It is sad that every government since the tragedy in 1984 has prioritised the interests of private companies instead of the people who have suffered. The killers are yet to be brought to justice,” said Rashida Bi, who heads the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karamchari Sangh. Rashida Bi has lost six members of her own family due to medical complications since that December night in 1984.
Toxic wastes are still polluting the water in the area threatening the lives of communities living there. The plant site was yet to be decontaminated.