Lapierre brings cheer to gas victims
The Times of India 27th January 2001

BHOPAL: The most infectious votary of Kolkata as the "City of Joy", Dominique Lapierre, the French writer, brought considerable cheer to the hearts of Bhopal's gas-affected populace by promising not to allow the world to forget the terrible tragedy they suffered 17 years ago.

Speaking at a reception in his honour on Friday, Lapierre (who is here at the invitation of Sambhavna, a private clinic for women gas patients) said he had been told that the Bhopal gas tragedy had been forgotten. "let me assure you that I won't allow this."

His forthcoming book, Midnight in Bhopal, which he has co-authored with nephew Javier Moro, would ensure that the story remains etched in the public mind for very long. Good intentions said the best-selling writer, did not always translate into action, but he was happy to note that "at last we are in a position to help you".

Meeting the clinic's doctors and health workers had given him that much needed dose of vitamins necessary to carry on good work he said.

The Dominique Lapierre City of Joy Foundation has been funding the clinic since 1999. The foundation had been set up with the royalties from the sale of 7.5 million copies of the City of Joy.

The Bhopal visit, said Lapierre, was yet another milestone on the journey he began 21 years ago on the urgings of Mother Teresa: The mission was to bring a little love and justice to the world. His love for India was triggered by the experience in Bengal and his work for leper children. The happiest moment of his life came sometime during a brief interaction with a youngster during a visit to Kolkata.