Activists from several Pune organizations like Lokayat, Kalpavriksh, National Centre for Advocacy Studies, Cehat, MASUM, Shramik Mahila Morcha, Bharatiya Mahila Federation, AID-PUNE and others protested in front of the Dow Corning Factory at Ranjangaon MIDC, Shirur Taluka, 40 kms. from the city. This was done as a part of the No More Bhopals Campaign that started in the city in second week of June.
The activists who have come together under the banner ‘No More Bhopals Forum’ Pune, are protesting against the setting up of the plant by DOW CORNING which is a hundred percent subsidiary of DOW CHEMICALS that has merged with the Union Carbide company – responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The DOW-CARBIDE merger took place in 2001 but the company (DOW) refused to accept the liabilities of Union Carbide in Bhopal.
The Forum is also attempting to highlight the fact that DOW as a corporation has a track record of producing harmful chemicals and causing large scale environment degradation and human rights violations. Inspite of knowing this the government of Maharashtra has allowed the company to set up its operations in Maharashtra. Further there are several lapses and unanswered questions in the (Environment Impact Assessment Report) submitted by the company to the Maharashtra State for environment clearance and consent to operate.
The slogan of the Forum is ‘No Justice – NO Business’. Until the company cleans up the and waste that is still lying in the Bhopal site and continually contaminating ground water and unitl the company is transparent about its operations it should not be allowed to do business in the country. A memorandum to the Chief Minister would also be released by the Forum on 18th June i.e tomorrow.
To raise consciousness, within the city, on issues of corporate crime and human rights violations by large companies the Forum has put up a photo exhibition on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy by Raghu Rai at Yashwant Rao Chavan Kala Dalan till the 18th of June. On Sunday at 5 pm a seminar on GLOBALISATION, ENVIRONMENT DESTRUCTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS’ is also being organized at the venue of the exhibition. This would be followed by a theatre performance ‘Wordless’ by TACT – Temorary and Contemporary Theatre at 7pm at the Kala Dalan.