“If I die the government will be to blame. I am tired of the falsehoods of our government. The Chief Minister made a promise of Rs. 5 lakhs to each affected person and then betrayed that promise.”
The poison clouds from the Union Carbide factory hit Vishnu a little after midnight. She and other members of the large joint family she lived with all had burning in the eyes, choking, coughing, vomiting and loose motions. Three children of her elder sister died that night. Her husband was badly affected and was diagnosed with TB after a few years. He was not able to carry on with manual work to earn a livelihood. Because of loss of income all her children had to quit school. One son was 3 months old when he was exposed to the toxic gases. He was not given any compensation. Today, Vishnu suffers from breathlessness, burning in eyes, chest pain, bodyache and panic attacks. She has received only Rs. 25, 000 ($406 USD) as compensation.
Vishnu Panthi, Age: 50