Look over the urgent appeals below, and join us in taking
.. . ..Stop
Dow from Staining IITs!
the Petition for Justice in Bhopal!
your website to support Bhopal!
Stop Dow from Staining
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.
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)
the RTI documents from Delhi
and Mumbai IITs
involved. For more information, contact:
Ranjan, IIT alumni: (301) 422-4441
the Petition Against Dow at IITs
To: IIT Director &
Head of the Chemical Engineering Department - All Seven
26th April, 2007
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
Union Carbide and Dow Chemical
have refused to contribute towards clean-up of the contamination
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.
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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
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,
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-->
<!-- Bhopal left code ends-->
Bhopal Right Diagonal Band
<!-- Bhopal code right starts here-->
<!-- Bhopal code ends here-->
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(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.