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.
The survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster never want anyone else to suffer the way they have.
Click on the image below or download (PDF) the ICJB Road Map to Justice, which outlines exactly what steps must be taken to ensure a life of justice and dignity for those poisoned by Dow-Carbide
In order to ensure justice is done and the future well-being of others is secured, the Bhopal survivors’ organizations and ICJB have the following demands for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical, the United States government, the Government of India, and the Government of Madhya Pradesh:
American Multinationals must:
- Union Carbide / Dow Chemical must pay a minimum of 8 thousand US dollars to each Bhopal survivor as additional compensation for personal injuries as claimed in the Supreme Court of India.
- Union Carbide / Dow Chemical must pay for the clean-up of the soil and groundwater up to international standards.
Union Carbide / Dow Chemical must pay compensation for health and environmental damage caused by contamination of soil and groundwater.
- Dow Chemical must respond to summons issued by the Bhopal District Court to appear before November 13, 2019 in the ongoing criminal case.
Government of USA must:
- The US government must serve the summons from the Bhopal District Court upon Dow Chemical without delay
- Acknowledge and express regret for financing, through its EXIM Bank, the construction of the hazardously designed plant that caused the world’s worst industrial disaster.
- Acknowledge and express regret for rejecting requests by the Indian government for extradition of Warren Anderson, prime accused in the criminal case on the disaster.
Government of India must:
- The Indian government must make Union Carbide / Dow Chemical pay compensation for health and environmental damage caused by contamination of soil and groundwater.
- The Indian government must ensure that the criminal trial of accused Indian corporate executives is concluded within the next six months.
- Indian government must ensure comprehensive scientific assessment of the depth, spread and nature of soil and groundwater contamination in an around the abandoned pesticide factory.
- The Indian government must ensure that standardized treatment protocols are developed for gas exposure related chronic diseases. The Indian government must establish a population based registry for all deaths, births and congenital malformations in the gas exposed families. The Indian government must ensure that NIREH (National Institute for Research on Environmental Health ) fulfil its commitment to the Bhopal survivors by generating scientific information on the long term health damage by the gas disaster and most effective means of ameliorating them.
- The Indian and MP state governments must ensure that a monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- is paid to all women widowed by the disaster and all those left without means to support themselves as a consequence of gas exposure.
- Not allow Dow Chemical to make any investments in this country, directly or indirectly, till it accepts Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal.
Government of Madhya Pradesh must:
- Ensure that all hospitals run by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department are adequately staffed, stock quality medicines, use standardized treatment protocols and offer free treatment to people exposed to contaminated ground water.
- Ensure that every person known to be disabled or turned destitute including widows as a result of the disaster receives a lifelong monthly pension of at least Rs. 3000/- as social support.
- Start providing rehabilitation and medical care to all children of gas and contaminated water exposed parents with congenital disabilities.
- Punish corrupt officials involved in misappropriation of Rs. 18 Crores in the work of economic rehabilitation.