Today, right now, there are two very simple things the Government of India could do to save lives in Bhopal and significantly ease nineteen years of accumulated pain and distress. It should immediately release the remaining balance of the settlement fund to gas survivors, the only ones entitled to the money yet still waiting for it; it must distribute safe water to the communities daily drinking – because they have no choice – Dow-Carbide’s deadly chemical soup. We know that these measures will be taken if enough people demand it. On Feb 24, we’re trying to ensure that it finally happens through calling, writing and emailing the Indian government. Please play a part and send our alert far and wide.
***BHOPAL ACTION ALERT***
** YOU CAN HELP STOP THE CONTINUING DISASTER IN BHOPAL!!!** On Tuesday, February 24, survivors groups from Bhopal have asked for people to call, write, or email the Indian Government to demand that it:
a) DISTRIBUTE THE BALANCE OF THE SETTLEMENT FUND to the Bhopal victims;
b) PROVIDE SAFE DRINKING WATER to people in the communities that are contaminated by Union Carbide.
According to the official records, although 99% of the claimants have been paid, there remains US $300 million in the settlement fund. So much money remains because many claimants have not received their full compensation, and because the interest on the settlement fund–some $84 million over 15 years–has never been paid to the victims. A survey carried out by the Sambhavna Trust shows that in Jaiprakash Nagar, the community right across Union Carbide’s factory, 91% people received only $500 as compensation and an average interest amount of about $550 had not been paid to the claimants.
Though people in Bhopal had been drinking water contaminated by Union Carbide for more than 10 years, it was only in September of 2000 that they were able to force the state government to supply safe water in tankers. However, water supply through tankers is inadequate, irregular and interrupted for the four months of monsoon rain. Construction on ten overhead tanks has been completed, but government officials have not bothered to install the lines so that people can have access to this piped water supply.
The survivors of the Bhopal disaster have identified both of these goals as priorities for the upcoming year, and they’ve asked in particular for the support of people in the United States because the Indian Government has been particularly responsive to such pressure in the past. On February 24th, please take a few moments of your time to call the Indian embassy AND consulates (listed below)and urge them to take action for the people of Bhopal.
Supporters in other countries are also invited to take part by calling local Indian diplomatic officials. There is a list of embassys and consulates here and here.
For the US:
—–>Call the Indian Embassy in Washington DC at (202) 939-7065 and ask to register your comments with the press department.
—–>Call the New York Consulate and leave a voicemail for the Consul of Press and Politics at (212) 734-4980 and/or email the Consul General of NY at email@example.com. You can also fax directly to the Consul General at (212) 988-6423.
—–>Call the Chicago Consul General’s office directly at (312) 595-0412, and/or email the Consul General at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—–>Call the San Francisco Consul General’s office directly at (451) 668-0998, and/or email the Consul General at CG@Indianconsulate-sf.org.
—–>Call the Houston Consul General’s office directly at (713) 626-3153, and/or email the Consul General at email@example.com.
—–>If you are a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or Non-Resident Indian (NRI) call the office of the Ambassador-at-Large of PIOs and NRIs at (212) 478-7777 or email that office at Grievances@Indianambatlarge.com.
Note: The Government of India is generally most responsive to Indian-Americans, so if you are an Indian-American, please identify yourself as such.
It would also be greatly appreciated if you let us know that you participated and what response you received. You can do so by calling (781) 424-5262 or emailing MLehrich@aol.com.
Help us besiege the Indian govt on Feb 24