Kurukshetra Techfest Sponsorship by DOW Chemicals – from Uncooked Gray Matter

Kurukshetra Techfest Sponsorship by DOW Chemicals

from Uncooked Gray Matter

Dear Alumnus of Anna University/CEG,

25th anniversary of Bhopal gas tragedy was observed recently. It is with horror we remind ourselves that the victims have not been properly rehabilitated, justice is yet to be done and the perpetrators of that worst disaster are still scot-free. Union Carbide, the corporation responsible for that tragedy, is hiding behind DOW Chemicals which acquired it. While DOW uses all loopholes to avoid Indian judiciary, it misses no opportunity to gain legitimacy in India. It has been trying to sponsor various events organised by reputed educational institutions and media outlets. But in most places, it has not been welcome.

1) In 2007 students and professors of IIT Madras made sure that DOW is banned from sponsoring college events and recruiting students in campus
2) In November 2009 ‘The Hindu’ has cancelled associate sponsorhip from DOW Chemicals after protests from readers

Now it has come to light that DOW has been sponsoring Kurukshetra techfest events since 2008 at College of Engineering Guindy. It is understandable that institutions are hard-pressed for sponsorship, and they would happily welcome big sponsorships from corporations. However accepting money from tainted corporations like DOW would seriously undermine the reputation of CEG.

It is also disheartening to know that college administration and organising committee of the Kurukshetra event have not been very open and transparent about their decision to take DOW’s sponsorship. There has been no discussion among students and faculties about the ethical issues pertaining to taking sponsorship money from DOW or similar companies. Permission have been denied for Bhopal victims to meet the dean and to conduct an awareness session on Bhopal tragedy. Annexure I contains mail from Bhopal victims to organising committee.

In this context it has become critical for the alumni to raise our voices in protest of DOW’s association with CEG to protect the moral character and reputation of College of Engineering, Guindy.

As an immediate act, we can all send a note to the Dean (munusekar@annauniv.edu ) and Kurukshetra organising committee ( industryrelations@kurukshetra.org.in 98944 13465) that DOWs association with CEG is bad for our college’s reputation.

We can also promise them to compensate any loss of sponsorship money by running a fund-drive among alumni, faculties and students. A model letter is attached in Annexure II

There are 9 more days to go for the event to start. We should act immediately and spread the message to as many alumni as possible.

Jayakumar Palanivel
Year 2000, CEG, B.E, Mechanical Engineering

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