For over three decades, several survivor led organizations have been fighting for justice and a life of dignity (proper health care, economic and social rehabilitation and safe living conditions). On the 35th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster, the survivors have specific demands of the Governments of Indian and USA and Dow Chemical.
Continue reading Our Demands on the 35th Anniversary
Survivors and allies took out a torch rally marking 34 years since the Bhopal Gas Disaster. The survivors of this on-going disaster still await justice as both the Government of India and Dow Chemical continue to ignore their responsibilities and the ethics they publicly endorse.
Photos by Rohit Jain
Continue reading In Photos: Torch Rally and Protests Marking 34 Years Since the Bhopal Gas Disaster
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan have both not given even a single second to listen to the survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, in their tenures till now. So the survivors are protesting by pleading to life size portraits of both leaders to hear their demands. The protest will be held across the city of Bhopal in the run up to the 33rd anniversary of the Tragedy.
Below are two videos from the first day:
Continue reading Survivors Lay Their Demands In Front of PM Modi & CM Shivraj Chauhan – #Bhopal33
Today marks the one year passing of Dr. Daya Ram Varma. His son Rahul Varma has shared the following words about his father, the Bhopal Gas Disaster, and his play Bhopal. Thank you Rahul for sharing this with us.
“When the Union Carbide plant exploded, killing over 2500 people overnight, and while company bosses, corporate lobbyists and media were busy establishing whose fault it was, my father flew to India and started collecting data from the survivors and victims — data which would later become the subject of his research and, eventually, potential evidence against the corporation. He told me that the impact of this poison gas (MIC or methyl isocyanate) would haunt not only the present but the generation to come. He told me that those not yet born at the time of the explosion would carry devastating effects of the MIC, a fact which was kept hidden as a trade secret.
When I sit down to pen a play, one of my primary subjects for contemplation is how this play might be distinct from other plays written on the same theme. My father’s one-liner, “MIC will haunt the generation yet to be born” – became that distinct idea of the play that premiered in 2001, and which was subsequently published, translated and produced in French, Hindi and Punjabi.
Dr. Sonya Labonte, a character in the play, was inspired and informed by my father’s work. I based this character on him to honour his prophetic thinking. He pursued his research and produced scientific facts and published papers exposing the corporate culpability. He could not be silenced. Once, at a scientific conference in Pittsburgh, USA, he walked up to and scolded Union Carbide hired doctor Hans Weill, who infamously said that MIC would be hydrolyzed and roll out of the Bhopal victims’ eyes. My father warned him never to go to India.”
You can also read Rahul’s tribute to his father on the anniversary of his passing.
September 01, 2015, New York, NY
Today, lawyers representing communities living near the site of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Bhopal Gas Disaster, will argue to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) is responsible for water pollution from the same plant that continues to foul local wells. Over a year ago a New York federal district court found that UCC could not be sued, despite compelling evidence that UCC caused the harm.
“The Plaintiffs have provided substantial evidence that demonstrates UCC’s responsibility,” said Richard Herz, Senior Litigation Attorney for EarthRights International (ERI), which represents the plaintiffs. “Two leading experts concluded that UCC’s technology and waste disposal strategy for the plant was improper for the site, and caused the water pollution that we still see today.”
Additionally, the manager who oversaw the construction of the plant confirmed that he worked for UCC, not for the Indian subsidiary that officially operated the plant. But the federal district court ruled that UCC was not sufficiently involved in the acts at the plant and that the project manager actually worked for the subsidiary. Because the plaintiffs believe that the district court improperly disregarded evidence of UCC’s responsibility, they appealed to the Second Circuit.
On December 2, 1984, poisonous gas from the Bhopal chemical plant enveloped nearby communities, killing thousands. The water pollution here is unrelated to the Gas Disaster, but has been leaching from the same plant ever since it was shut down afterward.
Marco Simons, ERI’s General Counsel, added, “These families have been living with Union Carbide’s pollution for decades. We remain committed to seeking the justice that they deserve.”
The case, Sahu v. Union Carbide Corp., is No. 14-3087 in the Second Circuit. In addition to ERI, the plaintiffs are represented by Rajan Sharma of Sharma & DeYoung, the Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, and Hausfeld, LLP.