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Action Center!
Quick Ways to Take Action!
  1. Send Dow a message in a bottle
  2. Subscribe yourself to the remember-bhopal listserve

Look over the urgent appeals below, and join us in taking action!

.. . ..Stop Dow from Staining IITs!
... ...Sign the Petition for Justice in Bhopal!
... ...Link your website to support Bhopal!

 

Stop Dow from Staining IITs!

Documents obtained through India's Right to Information law reveal that Dow is attempting to forge links with at least two IITs - Delhi and Mumbai - by offering to fund fellowships and/or projects in the Chemical Engineering department. Dow Chemical’s motive is not the furtherance of science and technology. Rather, it is an attempt to acquire legitimacy and credibility by associating itself with IITs, one of the best-respected educational institutions in the world. Rather than risk staining its impeccable reputation by associating with a corporation like Dow, IITs should reject all Dow's overtures and send a strong signal that they stand by the principles of justice and ethics.

If you're an IIT alumni, sign the petition against Dow at IITs (you can also read the offline petition circulated against Dow at IITM here)
Read the RTI documents from Delhi and Mumbai IITs
Get involved. For more information, contact:

..........Sudarshan Suresh: (480) 363-0081
..........Priya Ranjan, IIT alumni: (301) 422-4441

Sign the Petition Against Dow at IITs

To: IIT Director & Head of the Chemical Engineering Department - All Seven Institutes

26th April, 2007

Dear Sir/Madam:

We, the below-signed, are alumni from various Indian Institutes of Technology. Representatives of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster informed us that Dow Chemical, the owner of Union Carbide, is attempting to forge links with IITs by offering to fund fellowships and/or projects in the Chemical Engineering department. We are writing to urge you to reject any such offer of a relationship with Dow Chemical or any of its subsidiaries for reasons mentioned below.

You are probably aware that Union Carbide is a key accused in a criminal case related to the Bhopal disaster where the company is charged with “culpable homicide not amounting to murder.” Because it failed to honour summons issued by the Bhopal court, it was declared an absconder in 1992.

Dow Chemical has also failed to obey the law and is currently being challenged in the criminal court for sheltering a fugitive. Till date, it has failed to make Union Carbide – its 100 percent subsidiary – appear in court to face trial.

Aside from the disaster, Union Carbide’s routine operations in the Bhopal factory have resulted in a massive environmental contamination problem that has not been addressed till date. Several thousand tons of toxic wastes, obsolete pesticides and contaminated material and machinery lie strewn in and around the factory site. Over the years, these wastes have leached their poisons into the groundwater. At least 10 governmental and non-governmental studies document and confirm the spread of toxic contamination. More than 20,000 people are forced to consume this contaminated water in the absence of any alternative. Tests carried out at IIT, Kanpur, by a New Delhi based fact finding mission on Bhopal showed the presence of toxic chemicals such as chloroform, chlorobenzenes, dichloromethane and heavy metals such as lead and mercury in the breast milk of mothers in these communities.

Union Carbide and Dow Chemical have refused to contribute towards clean-up of the contamination and groundwater.

As a result, Dow Chemical is the target of a concerted campaign by Bhopal survivors and their supporters, including ourselves. The aim of the campaign is to hold the corporation and the Governments of India and Madhya Pradesh accountable.

Dow Chemical’s track record in India and abroad is poor on various counts:

• Earlier this year, the company was fined $325,000 by the US Securities Exchange Commission for having paid $200,000 in bribes to Agriculture Ministry officials for expediting the registration of three of its pesticides. One of the registered pesticides, Dursban (chlorpyriphos), is freely sold in India whereas it has been withdrawn from use in domestic settings in the US owing to its demonstrated deleterious effects on the mental development of children. An enquiry by the Ministry and another by the Vigilance Commission is currently ongoing.
• In 2005, Indian Oil canceled a technology tie-up with Dow Global Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, because the company had attempted to sell a Union Carbide technology by passing it off as its own.
• Dow is exerting tremendous pressure on the Indian Government to get the Government to absolve it of all liabilities related to Bhopal. Letters unearthed by the Bhopal survivor groups indicates that Dow has written to the Indian ambassador in an attempt to dictate the Government’s course of action in a case against it for environmental clean-up in the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Dow’s poor track record, particularly with respect to Bhopal, has made it very unpopular. In May 2005, more than 1300 IIT alumni intervened and forced the organizers of the Global IIT 2005 Conference to cancel the key note address by William Stavropoulos, then CEO of Dow Chemical.

In March 2007, the University of California, Berkeley, returned a donation by Dow Chemical towards organizing the UC Berkeley Energy Symposium after students voted overwhelmingly against accepting funds from the tainted company.

Dow Chemical’s motive behind the relationship it is attempting to forge with IIT is not the furtherance of science and technology. Rather, it is an attempt to acquire legitimacy and credibility by associating itself with the IIT.

IIT’s impeccable reputation will certainly be tarnished by any association with Dow Chemical. By rejecting any offers made by the company, IIT will be sending a strong signal that it stands by principles of justice and ethics.


Thanking You,

Sincerely,

Sign the Petition!!!

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Sign the Petition for Justice in Bhopal!!

Sign the Petition!

Twenty years after the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, known as the "Hiroshima of the chemical industry," it remains the worst industrial disaster in human history.

Two days of horror...two decades of apathy

On the night of Dec. 2nd and 3rd, a leak at Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal released more than 27 tons of methyl isocyanate and other deadly gases. NONE of the plant’s six safety systems were functioning that night, due to Carbide’s corporate cost-cutting and admitted use of “unproven” technologies in the design of the plant.

Among the 500,000 people exposed to the gas, 20,000 have died till date and 120,000 continue to suffer devastating health effects as a result of their exposure. Toxic waste left behind by Carbide at the factory site continues to poison those Carbide first poisoned 20 years ago.

In 2001, Michigan-based chemical corporation Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide, thereby acquiring its assets and liabilities. However Dow Chemical has stubbornly refused to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water or medical treatment for those who need it.

After 20 years of struggle, the campaign for justice in Bhopal is one of the longest-running and most important struggles against corporate crime in the world. Despite the horror of "that night" and the chemical terror that its survivors have endured, the people of Bhopal continue their struggle for justice, for corporate accountability, and for their basic human right to an environment free of chemical poisons. The outcome will have lasting implications for the future of globalization, the labor and environmental movements, and the health and well-being of the people of Bhopal.

The people of Bhopal have waited long enough for justice. Please support their struggle by signing the online petition at http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/Petition/bhopal.php and urging your friends to do the same!

WE ALL LIVE IN BHOPAL

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Link your website to support Bhopal!

Courtesy of Be the Change

Do you have a website, a blog, or a French poodle? If you have either of the first two, you can help spread the word about Bhopal - simply add these diagonal banners to the top of your website! To see what they look like in action, visit here. To download the actual banners, click here.

Note: The code below is to be put between the <head> and </head> tags of your template.

Bhopal Left Diagonal Band

<!-- Bhopal left code starts-->
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://www.geocities.com/ganganesh86/bhopalleft.js">
</script><noscript>
<a href="http://www.studentsforbhopal.org">
http://bhopal.aidindia.com/</a></noscript>
</head>
<!-- Bhopal left code ends-->

Bhopal Right Diagonal Band

<!-- Bhopal code right starts here-->
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://www.geocities.com/ganganesh86/bhopalright.js">
</script><noscript>
<a href="http://www.studentsforbhopal.org">
http://bhopal.aidindia.com/</a></noscript>
</head>
<!-- Bhopal code ends here-->

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Endnotes

(1) According to The Centre for Rehabilitation Studies’ (an office of the Madhya Pradesh government’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Dept.) 1998 Annual Report, the mortality rate among the exposed community in 1997 was 6.70/1000, whereas in the unexposed community it was 5.37/1000, producing a figure of 665 deaths above the mortality rate in the exposed community - or approximately 50 gas related deaths per month. No official figures exist for subsequent years. Further, according to a 1987 ICMR report, the mortality rate in the exposed community was 9.98/1000 and in the unexposed community was 6.03/1000, meaning approximately 150 gas related deaths per month in 1986. Assuming a steady ratio of depreciation in mortality of 6% per year, in 2003 there were therefore over 30 deaths per month due to gas exposure. However, it is worth noting that six monthly morbidity studies conducted by the ICMR between 1987-1991 show that the number of people with gas related symptoms actually increased in that period.

 

 

 


The international student campaign to hold Dow accountable for Bhopal, and its other toxic legacies around the world.
For more information about the campaign, or for problems regarding this website, contact
Shana Ortman, the US Coordinator for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.
Last updated: May 1, 2008

WE ALL LIVE IN BHOPAL

"The year 2003 was a special year in the history of the campaign for justice in Bhopal. It was the year when student and youth supporters from at least 30 campuses in the US and India took action against Dow Chemical or in support of the demands of the Bhopal survivors. As we enter the 20th year of the unfolding Bhopal disaster, we can, with your support, convey to Dow Chemical that the fight for justice in Bhopal is getting stronger and will continue till justice is done. We look forward to your continued support and good wishes, and hope that our joint struggle will pave the way for a just world free of the abuse of corporate power."

Signed/ Rasheeda Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Affected Women Stationery Employees Union
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal