the women survivors of the Union Carbide disaster of
1984 have issued an ultimatum to Midland, Michigan-based
Dow Chemical Company, Carbides new owner -- "Clean
Up Bhopal" or prepare yourself to be dishonourably
swept away from India.
We gave Dow Chemical a chance to respond to our demands
honourably. They have ignored us and insulted our suffering.
Eighteen years after Union Carbides deadly
gas leak in Bhopal, Carbide's victims have yet
to be adequately compensated. At least 10,000
people continue to be exposed to the toxic emissions
from the hazardous wastes abandoned by Union Carbide
at the factory site.
These poisons have seeped into the groundwater
and are showing up in the breast milk of mothers
living near the factory. The effects on us have
been devastating. Many of us have been unable
to conceive; thousands miscarried, never to conceive
again, due to the effects of the poison gas; others
have given birth to malformed babies; many of
our girls are suffer from irregular menstrual
cycles with some complaining of several cycles
Dow Chemical has refused to clean up the mess.
Nor has it done anything towards medical or economic
rehabilitation of the more than 150,000 people
who are chronically ill because of the long-term
effects of the poison gases.
Our demands to Dow:
1. Submit to the ongoing criminal proceedings in
India as the new owner of Union Carbide, an accused
in the Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrates Court;
2. Clean up contaminated areas within and outside
factory, and the poisoned groundwater;
3. Release medical information about toxicity of
MIC and poison gases, and arrange for long-term medical
treatment and rehabilitation of survivors and their
4. Arrange for long-term economic rehabilitation
of survivors whose quality of life and livelihoods
have suffered as a consequence of the disaster.
On October 5, 2002, women brandishing used jhadoos
(Indian brooms) marched on the streets of Bhopal and
gave a sound thrashing to an effigy of Dow Chemical
Company, the owner of Union Carbide. Being struck
by a broom is the ultimate insult; we save it for
use only against the worst of our adversaries. For
women in India, the broom is the personal weapon of
choice for fighting against injustices within our
homes or outside. Now, we'll turn it into a political
weapon against the perpetrators of the world's worst
(and ongoing) industrial disaster.
Like us, many of you are probably at the receiving
end of corporate criminality. Here we have an opportunity
not only to gain justice for Bhopal, but to also tell
corporations that might is not right. That when people
unite, corporations and their money mean nothing.
We appeal to you to join us in the fight for justice
in Bhopal, and the in the fight to ensure that there
are No More Bhopals.
Rasheeda Bi, Champa Devi Shukla, Nafeesa Bi, Masooda
Bi, Jameela Bi, Ayesha Bi, Parvati Pande, Genda Bai,
Fatima Bi, Rakhi, Yashoda Devi, Heera Bai, Chanda
Sahu, Chandrakala, Shabnam, Abida Bi, Malati bai,
Krishna Bai, Leela bai, Shobha Yadav, Seema, Rukhshana,
Anju and other women survivors of Bhopal
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Print out the Bhopal Fact File below.
· Talk to your neighbours, your colleagues
at office, your co-students at school, your parents,
your children, about the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster
and the ongoing human rights disaster in Bhopal.
· Tell them how Dow Chemical, the worlds
largest chemical company, is sitting by and watching
innocent Bhopalis die by the day instead of addressing
the pending liabilities of Union Carbide, a company
it recently acquired.
· Tell them about the "Jhadoo Maro Dow
Ko" [Hit Dow with a Broom] campaign launched
by the women of Bhopal.
ACTION: Ask them to donate their used broom(s)
(Dont spend money on purchasing a new broom!).
Take the signatures of those who donate brooms, and
write a personal note to:
Mr. Michael Parker, CEO, Dow Chemical Company.
Courier/mail it to your nearest Dow office. If youre
in India, you may send the package to:
5th Floor, Jain School, 84 Samuel Street
Dongri, Mumbai 400 009.
Tel: 022 3759657
NOTE: Make sure you send us, firstname.lastname@example.org
a note with the names of those who donated
brooms, and a copy of your personal statement for
display on our www.bhopal.net
Print out the Bhopal factfile below.
· Organise a rally-cum-public meeting with
the participation of mass organizations, particularly
organizations and collectives representing women and
workers. Use your imagination to publicly Jhadoo Maro
Dow (Hit Dow with a Broom). You can use effigies;
you can march the streets armed with brooms; you can
set up a ceremony of depositing brooms in a container
for delivery to Dow. Or better still, you can do all
this in front of your friendly neighborhood Dow office.
are the locations of all known Dow/Union Carbide offices:
and phone numbers of Dow/Union Carbide facilities
· Send us your plans in advance - email: email@example.com
· Send a copy of your press statement and pictures
from the event.
· If youre in India, you may send the
5th Floor, Jain School, 84 Samuel Street
Dongri, Mumbai 400 009. Tel: 022 3759657
For more information, contact:
THE BHOPAL FACT FILE
December 2-3, 1984 - Poisonous gas leak from
Union Carbides pesticides factory. First Information
Report filed on December 4. In three days around 8,000
people die: www.bhopal.net/oldsite/death-toll.html
December 7, 1984 - Prime accused and Carbide
chairman Warren Anderson amongst nine others arrested,
released on bail of Rs 25,000. Union Carbide named
as accused #10 in the criminal case charging culpable
homicide. Subsequently, Anderson declared fugitive
from justice after failing to appear in criminal proceedings
February 1989- Government and Union Carbide
strike a settlement. Compensation amount brought down
to $470 million from $3.3 billion.
November 1994- Supreme allows Union Carbide
to sell off its encumbered assets to fund a hospital.
Criminal proceedings against Union Carbide become
difficult to enforce because, although the accused
refuse to appear in Court, Carbide no longer has any
assets in India.
August 1999 - Union Carbide announces forthcoming
merger with Dow Chemical Company.
November 1999 - Greenpeace tests soil, groundwater
and wells in and around the derelict Union Carbide
factory and finds 12 volatile organic chemicals and
mercury in quantities up to 6 million times higher
than expected. The toxic inventory includes sevin,
temik, lindane carbon tetrachloride, dichlorobenzenes
and others. A report by Delhi based Shristi in Jan
2002 found lead and mercury in the breast milk of
nursing mothers in neighbouring communities: www.bhopal.net/oldsite/contamination.html
November 1999 - Several victims of Bhopal disaster
file class action suit against Union Carbide and its
former CEO, Warren Anderson, in federal court in New
York, charging Carbide with violating international
human rights law, environmental law, and international
February 2001 - Dow-Carbide merger occurs.
Dow inherits assets and liabilities of Union Carbide.
However, Dow claims it is not responsible for a factory
it didn't operate. This position is legally untenable
under Indian and U.S. law. Survivors demand Dow should
be held responsible for all medical and environmental
liabilities in Bhopal and that pending criminal liabilities
against UCC be transferred to Dow. Dow's $10 billion
acquisition of Union Carbide opens the possibility
of enforcing criminal liability against the corporation
as Dow has four subsidiaries and assets in India.
January 9, 2002 - Dow accepts Carbide's liabilities
in the U.S. and settles a Texas asbestos lawsuit originally
filed against Union Carbide. Its share price skids
23%, to close at $26.83 on Jan. 18. The plunge wiped
out $7.16 billion in equity and put Dow shares back
where they were in October, 2000.
August 28, 2002- Charges of culpable homicide
reaffirmed against Warren Anderson by Chief Judicial
Magistrate Kothe in Bhopal court. Court demands his
October 6 2002 - "Jhaadoo Maaro Dow Ko"campaign
launched by survivors in Bhopal. The phrase means
Hit Dow with a broom. It is an invitation
for Dow to clean up its toxic mess and a promise to
sweep Dow out of India if it does not.
October 18 2002 - The Indian CBIs Mr
Sahay states that he has appealed to the Union government
to name Dow alongside its criminally absconding subsidiary
Carbide. Once permission is granted, Dow Chemicals
will also be an accused in the case.
October 21 2002 - The Indian State of Madhya
Pradesh (of which Bhopal is the capital city) announces
that it will petition the Indian Supreme Court to
compel Dow Chemical to clean up the contaminated soil
and ground water at the Union Carbide factory site.
October 21 - 23 2002 - Indian Minister of State
for Home Affairs I D Swamy and External Affairs Minister
Yashwant Sinha in separate interviews tell reporters
that India is proceeding with an application to extradite
Carbides ex-CEO Warren Anderson from the US.
October 25 2002 - Guidelines drawn up by Greenpeace
for the clean-up of Carbides abandoned factory
site are presented to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
Digvijay Singh and simultaneously handed to Dow offices
in India, Europe and the USA. Clean up costs could
top $500 million.
For constant updates and the latest news as it occurs
please keep checking http://www.bhopal.net