Asian Age, December 4, 2006
New Delhi, Dec. 3: Members of Students for Bhopal-India and other supporters staged a demonstration against company Dow Chemicals by protesting in front of their secret office in Noida, as part of a nationwide action to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster, the world’s worst industrial catastrophe.
The Bhopal survivors, and their supporters worldwide, have persistently demanded that Dow Chemicals, which purchased Union Carbide in 2001, accept their liabilities in the Bhopal tragedy. Dow has consistently refused to do so.
Even 22 years after the disaster, the factory site has never been fully cleaned up and barrels of toxic waste are still found lying around.
Shalini Sharma, coordinator, Students for Bhopal-India, said, “We refuse to accept Dow’s presence in our country unless they clean up the site and own up the liabilities. In simple terms — ‘No Justice, No Business’.” Over 20,000 people have died in Bhopal in the last 22 years and the death toll continues to rise by 10-15 every month.
There are still over 120,000 chronically-ill survivors desperately in need of medical attention. Union Carbide Corporation, from the time of the disaster to this day, had withheld vital medical information regarding the composition of the gas cloud, which has seriously impeded the medical care of survivors in Bhopal.
A group of more than 30 young people gathered outside Dow’s office in Noida, which displays a large and misleading signboard entitled Footwear International, but also bears a small Dow emblem on its walls, and demanded to know why the company was in hiding in the area. They carried with them pictures of gas victims and survivors and distributed pamphlets to those living and working in the area.