Bhopal survivors to march on Delhi

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

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January 31, 2006
PRESS STATEMENT
150 survivors of the December ’84 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal will march on foot to New Delhi from February 20, 2006 demanding justice and a life of dignity for the people poisoned by American multinational Union Carbide Corporation. The march led by four Bhopal based organizations will also include people affected by ground water contamination from Union Carbide’s abandoned factory in Bhopal.
The Bhopal marchers expect to reach New Delhi in the last week of March when they have sought a meeting with the Prime Minister. Depending on the response of the central government the marchers may decide to go on an indefinite fast at the end of their 900 kilometer long march. The four organizations : Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Bhopal ki Aawaaz have a six-point charter of demands to present to the Prime Minister.
The first demand of the marchers is that of setting up of a National Commission on Bhopal with the necessary authority and funds to provide facilities for health care, economic rehabilitation, medical research and social support. They are calling for active participation of non-government doctors and scientists and representatives of survivors’ organization in the National Commission that they say should function for at least the next thirty years. The most urgent demand in their 6- point charter is the supply of piped water from Kolar reservoir in the 16 communities affected by toxic contamination of ground water.
In their meeting with the Prime Minister the marchers will demand the setting up of a Special Cell in the Central Investigation Bureau for speedy prosecution of Union Carbide Corporation, Warren Anderson and other absconding accused in the criminal case on the December ’84 disaster. They will also call upon the central government to ensure scientific assessment of the depth and spread of toxic contamination and make Union Carbide’s current owner The Dow Chemical Company pay compensation for the health and environmental damage caused due to reckless dumping of chemical wastes.
The Bhopal campaigners are demanding that the government stop purchasing Dow Chemical’s Dursban brand insecticide and other products till it accepts the pending liabilities of Bhopal. The survivors are also marching to demand that the central government declare December 3rd as a National Day of Mourning for victims of industrial disasters and include the disaster in educational curricula. .
New Delhi based supporters of the Bhopal survivors will convey the demands of the marchers to the Central government on a daily basis. Nationwide supporters of the Bhopal campaign will organize rallies, meetings and signature campaigns in solidarity with the Delhi Padyatra. International supporters in USA, Europe, Japan and other countries will take part in fax actions and demonstrations before Indian embassies abroad.
The route for the Delhi Padyatra has been chalked out with a view to making connections with other pollution impacted communities along the way. The marchers will organize poster exhibitions, film screenings and public meetings to make people aware of the need for justice in Bhopal for prevention of corporate crime everywhere.
Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
+91 755 93031 32959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
+91 755 93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
+91 755 98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
+91 755 98261 67369
Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
For the latest information on the Bhopal disaster please continue to visit www.bhopal.net

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