Press Trust of India, New Delhi, March 1, 2007
Survivors of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy on Thursday threatened to go on an indefinite hunger-strike if their long-pending demands of cleaning up of the environment, clean drinking water, medical care and social rehabilitation were not immediately met.
Representatives of the survivors, who have been on protest in Bhopal, charged the Madhya Pradesh government with obstructing medical care and rehabilitation. They said that the survivors have decided to go on an indefinite fast from March 5, 2007.
“We have been sitting on dharna for the last many days but neither Chief Minister Shiv Raj Chouhan nor his officials have met us,” Rashida Bi, a survivor of the Union Carbide gas tragedy and winner of Goldman Environmental Prize told in New Delhi.
She alleged that a special coordination committee on Bhopal, which was set up at the behest of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the previous year, was yet to start implementation of key decisions taken regarding relief and rehabilitation.
Satinath Sarangi from Bhopal Group of Information and Action claimed that 22 years after the disaster, more than 100,000 survivors were suffering from chronic problems such as breathlessness, cerebral palsy and acute deformities.
“But in the absence of monetary help for medical needs from the state, their agony has only worsened,” said Sarangi.