19 March, 2008
Around 100 people gathered at the Gandhi Statue on Marina beach to hold a candle light vigil in support of the second padyatra of the Bhopal gas survivors.
Around 6’o clock we started readying the place for the vigil. We had two banners in Tamil and English which had the story of Bhopal and Padyatra in brief. These banners were spread out for people to read. The big banner asking Prime Minister to Walk his Talk was spread too for people to sign.
We started the vigil with Mangai, Poet and theatre artist introducing the padyatra and the demands of the Bhopalis to the people gathered there.
The first event of the day was a small skit enacted for a poem written by Poet Inquilab called “Atharku Munbu, Atharku Pinbu, which translates into English as “Before that and after that”, “that” referring to the Bhopal Gas Disaster. It was written one week after the Bhopal Gas Disaster way back in 1984. Children from Bairava community (fortune tellers) enacted the Poem for the people in a very beautiful way.
Vedant Bharadwaj , a singer from Chennai, sang beautiful songs in Tamil, English and other languages. More than 30 students from Good Earth School, Chennai participated in the vigil and also sang songs together. Viraj and Daanish dedicated the song “ASHAYEN” to the Bhopalis and said that they really hope that Bhopalis would win the struggle.
Lot of Tamil and English poems were read out by poets and also people who had come for the vigil. The Vigil was extremely participatory and saw a lot of first time Bhopal supporters, especially children and young people.
While this was happening on one side, pamphleteering and talking to people about the padyatra also went on very well. At any given time we had at least a hundred people gathered around us watching us, reading the banners and enquiring about the padyatra and the struggle. Lot of people came forward to sign the banner saying that they wanted to do their bit for the struggle.
On the whole the evening was fun filled and successful. It was one of the best events we have had in support of Bhopal and we definitely reached the message of Bhopal Padyatris to a lot of people.