| Global Day of Action, 2005
Students for Bhopal chapters around the world are organizing events
and actions to mark the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal disaster.
Find out more below!
of California, Berkeley
of Texas, Austin
Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal
On November 29, 2005, the Seattle City Council issued an official
Proclamation declaring Dec. 3rd “Bhopal Remembrance Day”.
In doing so, Seattle became the second city to declare support for
the victims, following a resolution passed by the San Francisco
City Council in April of last year.
The City proclamation observed that the inaction of Union Carbide
Corporation (UCC) and Dow Chemical is counter to Seattle’s
aims for environmental sustainability. Seattle City Council member
and proclamation sponsor Nick Licata said, "All of us must
be accountable for our actions. If Dow eludes accountability for
its liabilities in Bhopal, why should American citizens expect any
corporation to accept responsibility for harm they may cause in
the United States?"
The proclamation marks an important step in the rising demand for
justice over the Bhopal issue, whose victims feel betrayed by the
actions of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.
“Bhopal can happen in our backyard. As global citizens it
is our responsibility to address these issues whenever possible
and our local coalition felt we could do our part to call attention
to this human rights abuse,” said Sandhya Banda, member of
the Seattle Coalition for Justice in Bhopal.
The Seattle Coalition for Justice in Bhopal, which initiated this
action, is also planning an event on December 3rd to commemorate
the Remembrance Day. The short film "20 Years Without Justice"
will be followed by a vigil at St. James’ Cathedral in Seattle.
This event is part of the “Women Confronting Globalization”
event which starts at 2pm in the same location. Guest speakers from
Chiapas and the Mexico Solidarity Network will talk about women
confronting globalization, followed by a showing of the film, “Questions
without Answers,” about the femicides in Juarez, Mexico.
Contact: Valerie Costa, Seattle
Coalition for Justice in Bhopal & Amnesty International, 206-979-6927.
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University of Michigan
On FRIDAY, Dec. 2nd, UM students will be out raising awareness
about the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster on the Diag, the central crossroads
of the University of Michigan. The presentation will include a prepared
10-minute skit, which will be repeated at the top of the hour from
11:00 am – 3:00 pm while people are on their way to class.
It is obviously going to be LOADS of fun and very informative about
this gas leak which has been forgotten by all but those in Bhopal
who are still silently suffering from it 21 years later.
On December 2nd, 2005, the Ann Arbor chapter of the Association
for India’s Development, EnAct, Environmental Justice and
Students for Bhopal co-sponsored several performances of a powerful
Bhopal performance on the Diag, the central crossroads of the University
of Michigan campus. The event was covered in the campus newspaper,
Michigan Daily, and over the course of the day several
hundred people watched the performance.
Writes the Daily:
“LSA junior Joseph Mathias and LSA senior Deetti Reddy rolled
on the ground while smoke emitted from a large black barrel in the
Diag on Friday. The performance was a part of the Students for Bhopal's
re-enactment of the Bhopal Tragedy, a chemical spill that killed
thousands of Indians nearly two decades ago.
of Michigan flag flew at half-staff
"’Not a lot of people know that the Bhopal disaster
ever happened,’ said performer Jeff Collins, a University
alum who works with Students for Bhopal, a student group that supports
reparations for victims of the disaster. ‘There is still responsibility
that has not been taken,’ Collins said. ‘Union Carbide
just picked up and left. (The chemicals are) all still there.’
Students for Bhopal wants Dow to clean up the toxins, face a trial,
provide long-term health care and provide economic support for the
The five-minute silent skit is an abstract reenactment of the 1984
Bhopal chemical disaster. Its purpose is to remind the public that
Dow's liability in Bhopal remains unresolved as people continue
to die from the effects of the toxic gas. The Dow Grim Reaper represents
Dow's culpability in these deaths. The person in white represents
those who have died. The person in red represents the injured, who
carry the legacy of the disaster in their blood. The person in gray
represents the rest of us, who are neither criminals nor victims,
but nonetheless must bury the dead, care for the injured, and demand
justice from Dow. Read the
script and watch a video (Quicktime:
24 MB) of the performance!
Contact: Leher Thadani,
On SATURDAY, Dec. 3rd, two events are planned:
1. A caravan of students and Bhopal supporters to Midland, to confront
five Dow Board members (including the current Dow CEO) with the
names, faces and stories of those
On December 1st, 2005, six members of the University of Michigan
community traveled to Midland, Michigan to talk to five members
of Dow’s Board of Directors – the folks responsible
for perpetuating the ongoing chemical terror in Bhopal. We weren’t
sure what to expect: in the past, Dow’s Board members have
refused to speak with
us, and fled when they knew we’d be arriving. So this
visit was a surprise, timed to catch the Board members off guard
and hopefully willing to speak about the disaster.
befuddled by Michigan students
We started at the CEO's home, Andrew Liveris. He was either not
home, or refused to come to the door, but we did leave a poster
taped on his door with a note for when he returned.
This was repeated at the home of Dow's Chief Financial Officer,
J. Pedro Reinhard.
We had better luck with the third name on our list, William Stavropoulos,
himself the former CEO of Dow and current Chairman of the Board.
We disturbed his restful enjoyment of a television sporting event
as he reclined in a luxurious leather armchair. He appeared perplexed
as he cautiously peered through the blinds next to his door, until
he read the poster we'd brought. Then he became more agitated, nervous
in his gestures. After a few seconds he held his hands up, palms
outward, indicating his refusal to speak with us. At the control
panel he turned off the lights to the living room and enabled the
security system. He pressed the emergency button, calling his private
security service, and moved to the kitchen where he also dimmed
the lights before telephoning the Midland Police Department.
clear of Dow pets" we were told
We hadn't driven far before the men in blue pulled us over with
flashing lights. Over the course of the next hour, they asked each
driver for their license and registration, and also collected the
identification of the other passengers. They verified our phone
numbers, addresses, and occupations. And they photographed each
of us with a digital camera, as well as our license plates. We were
informed that we were never again to set foot on Dow property, approach
any Dow building or facility, visit any of the Dow Board members,
Dow executives, or Dow employees in any capacity. We were told to
stay clear of Dow pets, avoid inhaling air once breathed by Dow's
management, and to refrain from reading public documents produced
by Dow, silently or aloud. They specifically instructed us to give
our children different names than those given to the children of
Dow executives. If we should break these rules, we were told, we
would permanently forfeit our ability to send mail using the US
Overall we were astonished by the guilt and fear our friendly visit
seemed to inspire. It’s clear that Dow’s Board members
do not enjoy being held accountable
for their actions, and it’s also clear why.
We remain committed to reminding them of their responsibilities
until justice is finally done.
2. A public art project, commemorating and memorializing the Bhopal
disaster, will be created using seven large “toxic waste”
drums, stencils, images and recordings.
accepts the gift on behalf of the University of Michigan
On December 3rd, 2005, several students and supporters of the Bhopal
campaign joined together in the creation of a public art project,
memorializing the catastrophic disaster that happened 21 years ago.
Entitled “Bhopal”, the project featured seven large
“toxic waste” drums, each of which was covered with
stencils, writings and images representing such themes as “THAT
NIGHT,” “The Women’s Union,” and “Compensation”.
Each barrel also contains a sound installation, which will continue
to play this 3-minute clip of powerful quotes and damning Carbide
lies set against the mournful backdrop of the Indian sitar.
A closeup of
one of the stencils
The project was presented to the University of Michigan at the
home of its President, Mary Sue Coleman. President Coleman was out
of town and unable to accept the gift in person, but Julie Peterson,
the University’s Vice President for Communications, was on
hand to accept the gift on behalf of the school. Jayanthi Reddy
from AID-Ann Arbor and Ryan Bodanyi from Students for Bhopal spoke
briefly about the disaster, its importance, and the local movement
to ensure that Bhopal is not forgotten. Julie Peterson also spoke,
echoing the importance of remembrance and thanking us for the gift
to the school. The barrels themselves will be displayed separately
in seven different buildings on the University of Michigan campus.
Contact: Jayanthi Reddy,
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On the 21st anniversary of Bhopal we at Chennai are organizing
an awareness run in Besant Nagar - a very popular coastal locality
in city of Chennai. The theme of the run would revolve around the
relevance of the Bhopal Gas Disaster to our lives today. The theme
will also look at a general awareness on the need for safe environment
and greater corporate accountability in our corporate ruled lives.
The route of the run will cover an area of about 5kms and will end
with a candle-light-vigil at the Elliots Beach (a popular beach
in Besant Nagar). This beach is a weekend crowd puller and the 3rd
of December being a Saturday will have a considerable gathering.
We are inviting schools, friends and local residents to participate.
On the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster, International
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal invites you to join:
“Run For Life” and Candle-light Vigil in memory of Bhopal
Date: 3 December 2005
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Elliots Beach, near the skating rink/ Planet Yum
Many More Bhopals: Emboldened by the Government’s willingness
to condone crimes by private corporations, a thousand Bhopals have
sprung up around the country. The most polluting and most dangerous
factories make a beeline for India attracted by the Indian Government’s
offer of easy clearances and lax environmental regulation.
Chemplast and Malco’s factory complexes in Mettur, the SIPCOT
Industrial Estate in Cuddalore, the Ennore-Manali Petrochemical
belt, Sterlite’s illegal copper smelter in Tuticorin, Orchid
Chemical’s death factory in Alathur, the dyeing units in Tirupur,
Hindustan Lever’s mercury waste dumps in Kodaikanal –
these are all slow-motion Bhopals in Tamilnadu where the Government’s
reluctance to crack-down on polluters is threatening workers, communities
and the environment. The Government’s reluctance is also a
result of people’s failure to organize.
We invite you to join other concerned people in a “Run/Walk
for Life” and Candle-light vigil at the Besant Nagar Beach
Contact: Shweta Narayan
On December 3rd, 2005, the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal disaster,
“We Feel Responsible” and other Bhopal supporters in
Chennai hosted a “Run For Life” and candle-light vigil
in memory of Bhopal and the slow-motion Bhopals in their own community.
Schools, friends and local residents were invited to participate
in the event, which included the performance of a street play and
ended with a poignant candle-light vigil at the Elliots Beach.
The run covered an area of about 5kms, snaking its way along the
beach in Besant Nagar - a very popular coastal locality in city
of Chennai and a weekend crowd puller. The theme revolved around
the relevance of the Bhopal Gas Disaster to our lives today; the
general need for a safe environment and greater corporate accountability
in our corporate-ruled lives; and Chennai’s own slow-motion
Bhopals, including Chemplast and Malco’s factory complexes
in Mettur, the SIPCOT Industrial Estate in Cuddalore, the Ennore-Manali
Petrochemical belt, Sterlite’s illegal copper smelter in Tuticorin,
Orchid Chemical’s death factory in Alathur, the dyeing units
in Tirupur, and Hindustan Lever’s mercury waste dumps in Kodaikanal.
In all these cases the Government’s reluctance to crack-down
on polluters is threatening workers, communities and the environment.
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Delhi University, India
On the 30th November 2005 We for Bhopal will be putting up a stall
at the British Council at the "Beyond Border" cultural
event: “Beyond Borders is a regional project of the British
Council which provides a platform to young people to share and address
issues related to identity, diversity and active citizenship. Over
100 young people from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and
the UK are participating in and working together on this project.”
As part of our activity we will be selling our report and copies
of the film, as well as t-shirts, badges provided by Rachna, and
other material given by The Other Media. The film "Closer to
Reality" will be screened followed by a discussion. Needless
to say given the reach of BCL this will be an important step towards
creating awareness amongst the youth about Bhopal and other related
This 3rd December the decision was taken to have a candle light
vigil wherever the group will be and by involving the rest of the
class mates this would spread the message. Sahil will take photographs
of the event and we will share the images with Students for Bhopal
On December 10 Human Rights Day we plan to join the Lok Sangathan
call for "Punish the Guilty" demonstration. Wfb will carry
banners provided by ICJB and before we go to the demonstration we
plan to do a signature campaign on a 9 by 3 white sheet at the university.
This sheet will be carried to the demonstration site.
Contact: Akhil Katyal,
We for Bhopal
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On November 16, 2005, several students from Oakland University
and the University of Michigan joined in a protest outside Dow’s
Midland, MI headquarters. Although the weather was bitterly cold,
the students waved banners, shouted slogans, and went inside to
meet with Dow Public Affairs man Scott Wheeler.
“Scott Wheeler focused his argument on the grounds that Dow
does not and never has owned the facility and that the land is now
owned by the state government and so we should focus our complaints
against them. He said Union Carbide sold the land lease to Eveready
and then the government seized the land from them. He also said
that Dow bought the shares of Union Carbide, which means they own
UC's assets, but not their liabilities. I don't know how true that
is, but I feel we learned a lot from talking to him – if only
about their ‘no blame’ mindset.”
Contact: Ariana Toth,
Amnesty International Oakland University
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Long Island University
This year we will be holding our second annual Bhopal Art Contest.
Basically anybody can submit pieces of artwork for this contest,
such as music, posters, sculpture, painting, writing, etc. There
are three prizes and the deadline is December 2nd. Then on the 3rd
we're going to hold a presenting event for winners and participants.
Contact: Kasey Jacobs
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The Boston Coalition for Justice in Bhopal is hosting a candlelight
vigil in Downtown Boston followed by a short film and talk afterwards
on Friday, December 2nd from 4:15-6pm at the Park St. T-stop. Continuing
on to Community Church for a 17 min film and discussion at 6pm.
Each vigil attendee will read aloud 5 names of people who died in
the immediate disaster in 1984. We will be collecting signatures
for the ‘Don’t work for Dirty Dow Campaign.’ Since
our location will be at one of the busiest subway stops in the heart
of Boston at rush hour we hope to raise awareness with a broad audience.
Friday, December 2nd, 2005
4:15 - 6pm Candlelight Vigil
Boston Common, Outside Park St. T-Stop
6:30-7:30 Film & Discussion at Community Church of Boston,
565 Boylston St.
Sponsored by the Boston Coalition for Bhopal: Association for India’s
Development, Local Amnesty International Chapters, Alliance for
a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Environmental Health Fund and
Mass Global Action.
Contact: Aquene Freechild,
617-254-6018 for further details.
for photos and the press release!)
Protesting outside Boston Commons
A discussion followed
Joining in solidarity for Bhopal
On December 3rd, 2005, the 21st Anniversary of the Bhopal disaster,
the Boston Coalition for Justice in Bhopal held a candlelight vigil
in Boston Commons (Park Street T Stop) during Rush Hour, starting
at 4:15. Even though it was a windy and cold day, a lot of folks
braved the winds for a solemn memorial to the lives lost and in
solidarity with the Bhopal survivors. The Justice For Bhopal banner,
the recitation of the powerful survivor accounts, short handouts,
and the large posters raised awareness amongst a lot of people during
the rush hour in front of Park Street subway station.
Then we walked to the Community Church for a screening of the 17-minute
Bhopal documentary, “Twenty Years Without Justice.”
We had a round of introductions for some new interested folks and
tried to encourage planning for next year for the Bhopal campaign
followed by going to dinner together.
So, it was a successful event over all for the coalition. We hope
to also continue the momentum from this year and plan more things
for next year.
Boston Coalition For Justice in Bhopal is a group that was
formed for Bhopal action throughout the year with various Boston
based groups in the middle of this year. The members of the group
are: AID Boston, Somerville Amnesty International Chapter, Environment
Health Fund, South Asia Center and Alliance For Secular and Democratic
South Asia. The overall coordinator for this group is Aquene Freechild
from Environment Health Fund/Students For Bhopal.
article in JSONS! Read more in India
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University of California,
UC BERKELEY EVENT FOR 21 YEARS WITHOUT JUSTICE.
THE BHOPAL CHEMICAL DISASTER:
The world's worst industrial disaster in the history of mankind.
Twenty one years later the Struggle continues
On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster, join
us to find out Why?
Association for India's Development (AID) Berkeley Chapter and International
Twenty-One years Without Justice
When: December 1, Thursday, 7:30pm
Where: Homeroom, International House
2299 Piedmont Ave. Berkeley, CA 94720-2320
Join us for a viewing of the documentary, Twenty years Without Justice,
and a photo exhibit that depicts the struggle over two decades.
The documentary will be followed by a conversation with Diana Ruiz,
Dow Accountability Network Coordinator
For more information, please contact: Sachin
For directions see: http://ihouse.berkeley.edu/i/visitor.html
This event is sponsored by the UC Berkeley International House Program
office as part of its Globalization series.
The Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA) works to educate,
organize, and empower the Bay Area South Asian communities to end
violence, oppression, racism and exploitation within and against
our diverse communities.
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University of Cincinnati
FYI, Association for India's Development (AID) calls for a 21st
Anniversary REMEMBER BHOPAL in Cincinnati to seek justice for Bhopal.
Dec 2nd-3rd, 2005 marks the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal disaster.
This day has been declared as the - Global Day of Action against
Corporate Crime. Join AID, to send a resounding message to all the
irresponsible corporations that there will be 'No more Bhopals'.
• Dec 1st & Dec 2nd : Photo exhibition (9.00am - 6.00pm)
4th floor Lobby Engineering Research Center (ERC), University of
Cincinnati. We are exhibiting a photo exhibition by works of Raghu
Rai, Maude Dorr and other internationally recognized photographers.
The exhibition consists of images that they took in Bhopal since
1984, documenting the horror.
• Dec 2nd : Fast observance (Dawn to dusk) & Screening
‘Bhopal Express’ (12:30 am- 2.00 pm) at 427 ERC, University
of Cincinnati. People interested in fasting from sunrise to sunset
for the cause are requested to contact Sandesh
Samdaria at 513.297.4822
“Bhopal Express”,a feature film, explores the true story
of the world's largest industrial disaster. Championed by David
Lynch and featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Zeenat Aman, the tragedy
is revealed through the experiences of newlyweds Verma (Kay Kay),
a foreman at the Carbide plant, his wife Tara (Nethra Raghuraman)
and their friend Bashir (Shah).
This film is a human drama set against the gas tragedy in Bhopal
which took place in 1984. The film examines the irresponsible methods
of large corporations and the effects of their actions on common
people. Details: http://www.bhopalexpress.com/
Contact: Sandesh Samdaria,
On December 2nd and 3rd, AID-Cincinnati hosted a photo exhibition
about the Bhopal disaster on the University of Cincinnati campus.
The Photo exhibition went well. Lots of people passed by, read
and conveyed solidarity. We had 4 people who fasted on Dec 2nd in
memory of Bhopal.
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From November 11th through December 10th, 2005, Bard College hosted
the exhibit, "Flames not Flowers," photos by Raghu Rai
and Maude Dorr, in their student center. Alongside this exhibit,
Bard premiered another smaller color photography exhibit called
"Bhopal: New Sites of Suffering and Healing in the Aftermath
of the Bhopal Gas Disaster," by Bridget Hanna, William Hanna,
Prakash Hatvalne and Adriane Raff-Corwin.
The photos were hung down one long wall at the campus center at
Bard, a locus of activity that everyone in the community passes
through on a regular basis. The sequence begins with the disaster
and Rai's photos, progresses through Dorr's collages, and then ends
with the small exhibit of new images. Even as the show was being
hung, many people stopped to look at the arresting images. Standing
in the campus center watching the traffic, it is clear that most
cannot pass the exhibit without paying attention to it, and many
people seem very moved by what is portrayed. The sheet we provided
for commentary has had only thanks and praise written on it thus
We hope that this exhibit will help further raise the awareness
about Bhopal at Bard, and will get people riled up to make some
Contact: Bridget Hanna
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Please join a.i.d, atlanta with your questions, your thoughts &
your inquiries for
GRAPPLING WITH BHOPAL: 21 YEARS LATER
A Roundtable Discussion with updates, an Introductory Documentary
& Pictures from a visit to Bhopal this year!
FEATURING: Paddy Sharma (President, IACA), Bobbie Paul (Exec Director,
WAND), Prof. Ian & Yael Fletcher (GSU), Prof. Govindaraj (Industrial
& Systems Engg, Gatech/ A.I.D.), Laura Moye (Amnesty International),
SA4U Steering Committee Member(s) and more…
What is the significance of talking about Bhopal 21 years after
the initial disaster? How do we understand the cross-border, international,
human significance of what has and is happening in and with Bhopal?
What is our role in it? What is DOW Chemical doing/ not doing? The
governments? What are the wider implications of accountability and
Time : 7PM on Thursday Dec 1, 2005
Venue : Room 207, Instructional Center
Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA (see directions below)
Contact: Srini Seetharaman,
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In memory of those killed and in solidarity with those who continue
to struggle for justice in Bhopal and everywhere in South Asia,
a new initiative,
*JUSTICE IN SOUTH ASIA*
*BHOPAL AND BEYOND: PEOPLE'S STRUGGLES IN SOUTH ASIA*
An afternoon of documentary films and theater on struggles for
social, economic, and environmental justice in the region
SATURDAY DECEMBER 3, 2:00 PM
Fleming Center, 1426 9th St. NW
(near Shaw/Howard Metro stop on Green Line)
This event is co-sponsored by:
Association for India's Development (AID) Maryland chapter, Amnesty
International USA, and Mobilization for Global Justice
*India and Free Trade: A Closer Look at Bhopal*
A documentary film on "free trade" and on "winners
and losers" in a free market economy. As a case in point, it
examines the Bhopal gas disaster and the changes brought about by
transnational corporations in India.
Andolan Jari Chha (The Struggle Continues)
A documentary on the continuing struggle for democracy and Human
Rights in Nepal, with footage from people's actions opposing the
brutality of the monarchy and the Maoist insurgents. (Running Time:
A play on religious fundamentalism in the Indian sub-continent,
commemorating the upcoming anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition
on December 6, 1992 and the following violence that killed thousands.
(Show Time: 20:00)
There will be time for discussion. Light refreshments will be served
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Justice in South Asia volunteers:
Basav Sen 202-997-0479
Darshana Patel 717-449-1238
On December 3rd, 2005, “Justice in South Asia” presented
“Bhopal and Beyond: People’s Struggles in South Asia,”
an afternoon of documentary films and theater on struggles for social,
economic, and environmental justice in the region. Co-sponsored
by the Association for India's Development (AID) Maryland chapter,
Amnesty International USA, and Mobilization for Global Justice,
the program featured a screening of “India and Free Trade:
A Closer Look at Bhopal” as well as “Andolan Jari Chha”
(The Struggle Continues) about the continuing struggle for democracy
and Human Rights in Nepal, and “The Pit,” a play on
religious fundamentalism in the Indian sub-continent. About 40 people
attended the event, and participated in the discussion afterwards.
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A Call to Unite for Bhopal!
Association for India’s Development (AID) – Milwaukee
Invites you to join us in a vigil and walk, to remember the victims
of Bhopal and extend our support to those who are still struggling
Where: Gather near the Milwaukee Public Library by 8th and Wisconsin
Avenue, Milwaukee and together proceed towards the Mahatma Gandhi
by the County Court houses.
When: Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 at 2pm.
Why: The Bhopal Gas tragedy also known as the ‘Hiroshima
of the chemical industry’ was one of the worst industrial
disasters in the history of the world. In 1984, a storage tank containing
40 tons of toxic methyl-isocyanate burst at the Union Carbide plant
in Bhopal, a city in central India. The poisonous gas leak killed
8,000 people the first day and nearly 20,000 to date. The victims
were meagerly compensated and the site still remains polluted. In
2001, Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide but refuses to take any
responsibility for either the tragedy or for the gross contamination
that still remains at the Bhopal site. Dow Chemicals refusal to
take responsibility coupled with the Indian Government’s apathy
has left the victims still struggling for justice 21 years after
The event will begin with a stand out vigil besides the Milwaukee
Public Library followed by a walk towards the Mahatma Gandhi statue
(Milwaukee County Court Houses), the champion of nonviolent struggle.
Contact: Sushma Iyer
It was snowing, it was cold but the AID Milwaukee volunteers were
steadfast in our resolve to demand justice for the victims of the
Bhopal Gas Disaster. The message that volunteers wanted to convey
when they gathered in front of Milwaukee public library was short
and clear: Dow, Clean Bhopal now! The vigil was to observe the 21st
Anniversary of Bhopal Gas disaster and was organized by AID Milwaukee
along with “Education for People”, a grassroots community-based
advocacy organization head quartered in Milwaukee (http://educationforthepeople.org).
The event started in front of the Milwaukee Public library and
the goal was to spread awareness for the cause. A night before volunteers
prepared a few posters, which would be used the next day to promote
awareness of the campaign. “We got 50 honks in our support”,
remarked Krishna while talking about the success the event received.
The group then walked together towards the Mahatma Gandhi statue
at the Milwaukee Court house where they lit candles and a minute
of silence was observed to remember those who died. The cold and
heavy snow was a deterrent but not enough to stop people from speaking
out their views on the issue. Ashish, an AID volunteer echoed the
demands of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB).
He said, Dow should clean up the toxic waste from the site, provide
long-term health care to those affected, face trial in the court
and provide economic and social support to the victims. Prem talked
about few of the achievements for the campaign in the last year,
with the notable ones being the order of the Supreme Court of India
asking Madhya Pradesh Government to supply clean drinking water
and the Indian Oil Corporation cancellation of purchase of technology
from Dow Chemicals. Matt Nelson, director of “Education for
People” talked about corporate accountability and how some
corporations have destroyed communities but have not been held accountable
for that. With Matt's remark the event came to an end with the resolve
that we will keep fighting for the Justice in Bhopal.
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CORPORATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES:
A film and discussion about the World¹s Worst Industrial Disaster
in Bhopal India and its relevance for our own struggles against
7 pm Wednesday December 14 at the Media Education Foundation
60 Masonic St., Northampton:
Commemorating International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and the 21st
anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster (Dec. 2/3)
The film, “Litigating Disaster,” follows the 20-year
legal struggle for compensation for the victims of the world's worst
industrial disaster that occurred in Bhopal, India Dec. 3, 1984
when a leak from a Union Carbide chemical pesticide plant resulted
in the death of 15,000 people or more and the maiming of hundreds
of thousands. The film makes it clear the real culprit is the lack
of any international law or tribunal to govern the activities of
Ward Morehouse, co-founder of POCLAD (national Program on Corporations,
Law and Democracy) will lead a discussion and speak briefly about
the lessons he has learned from his own 21-year involvement in the
struggled for justice in Bhopal about international control of corporations.
Copies of Morehouse’s new book, THE BHOPAL READER: remembering
twenty years of the world¹s worst industrial disaster will
be for sale.
Copies of Amnesty International’s report using the Bhopal
case calling for a universal human rights framework for business,
based on the UN Norms for Business will be available for discussion.
The Report says such standards are necessary, “to hold companies
accountable and guarantee redress for the victims.”
The evening will be sponsored by POCLAD (Program on Corporations,
Law and Democracy)
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University of Indiana
Association for India's Development (AID)
Bhopal: The Search for Justice | Thu Dec 1st 6:00PM | Ballantine
Vigil for the Victims | Fri Dec 2nd 4:30PM | Dunn Meadows
This December 3rd marks the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy
-- * the worst industrial disaster in human history *.
AID invites you to learn more about this terrible tragedy and show
solidarity with the 20,000 victims by joining us for a documentary
on Bhopal this December 1st and a candlelight vigil on December
BHOPAL: The Search for Justice (A Documentary Film)
"This 52-minute documentary explores and analyzes
the prospect for environmental and human justice
in Bhopal. At stake is more than fair compensation
for the many affected and afflicted - "Bhopal"
has become a rallying cry and a test case for
international environmental law and human rights."
DATE: Thursday 1st December, 2005
LOCATION: Ballantine Hall, Room 228, Indiana University Campus
VIGIL FOR THE VICTIMS
A candlelight vigil in memory of the 20,000 dead and the
hundreds of thousands of disabled continuing to suffer in
the aftermath of the deadly gas leak 21 years past. Let
us show solidarity with these victims who continue to
fight for justice.
DATE: Friday 2nd December, 2005
LOCATION: SW Corner of Dunn Meadows, Indiana University Campus
Contact: Yogesh Simmhan, AID-Bloomington
On December 2nd, 2005, the Bloomington chapter of the
Association for India’s Development hosted a vigil and documentary
screening to mark the 21st anniversary of the world’s worst-ever
“We had a good turnout for the vigil though the documentary
was a washout since we were screening the same one as last year.
had the vigil for 2hrs on Dec 2nd at the heart of the campus and
close to downtown. Over 20 people joined us and stood thro the bitter
cold and held posters. We talked to faculty, students, and staff
who passed by and over 30 people stopped and interacted with us
braving the cold. We explained about Bhopal and gave them flyers
with things they could do to help.
“Unlike last year, this year we did not manage to get media
attention for our vigil. We'll have to work closer with the campus
newsdesk to make sure we get press coverage in future.”
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University of Texas, Austin
As a part of Bhopal week, we are planning to distribute small pins
with "DOW" crossed out. We also would like to ask sign-ups
for a day long fast on Dec 3rd.
Contact: Gauri Vibhakar
December 3rd, 2005 marked the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal gas
tragedy. AID-Austin commemorated the event by holding a candlelight
vigil, which was attended by twenty-five people. One individual
read poetry, while others read survivor stories, while another sang
a song of inspiration and hope. Being the Global Day of Action,
a few AID-Austin volunteers held a day-long fast in solidarity with
the Bhopal survivors.
Attendees of the vigil also had an opportunity to write messages
in two different diaries, one for the Bhopal survivors, and one
for Dow, respectively.
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Indian Institute of Forest
After a series of deliberations we have decided to organise a Photo
exhibition in the campus with valuable inputs from Rachna and also
with the help of the print outs of those which we could manage through
the website. We hope a good turn out from the faculty too as we
got a positive and highly boosting remarks from a couple of them
already. Tommorrow i have sought an appointment with Rachna and
perhaps i could join with the programmes that she and Sadbhavana
trust is organising marking the anniversary too.
Contact: Nahar Muhammed
With the exciting support and co-operation from Students for Bhopal
especially and others around like Rachna here we organised something
in Indian Institute of Forest Management this time marking the 21st
anniversary of Bhopal tragedy. I wish to extend whole hearted thanks
to you all on behalf of everyone who were behind in organising such
an event. We got overwhelming support from some of our faculties
and several of our fellow students were also quite helpful and supportive
in the whole effort. We gathered the support of the IIFM community
by collecting their signatures with comments in a big white sheet
for which the response was something quite rewarding. It was after
the absence of a substantial student community who are out of the
campus primarily due to the field work.
I specially liked to mention the name of Ms. Swati Karamcheti,
an MPhil student who had shown her enthusiasm right from the beginning
and played an appreciable role in making the event a fair success.
We hope and wish in the years to come IIFM will also find its place
in the network of organisations and students who are part and parcel
of the struggle against injustice to the victims of Bhopal tragedy.
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AID Baton Rouge will be hosting a candle light vigil and will be
screening the movie "Litigating Disaster".
Contact: Prakash Narayanan,
To commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster,
a candlelight vigil was organized by AID Baton Rouge on the evening
of Dec 3, 2005. About 30 people attended the vigil, which
commenced with the lighting of candles. Prakash Narayanan, an AID
volunteer, addressed the attendees on the tragedy, current health
of survivors and their fight for justice against Union Carbide (now
DOW) and the Government of India. Information about the disaster
was also provided on posters for everyone to read. A minute silence
was then observed in remembrance of the dead and those who are still
suffering to this day from the aftereffects of the gas leak.
As a follow up to the anniversary, a documentary titled "Litigating
Disaster" by Ilan Ziv was screened the next day during the
chapter's weekly community service hour. The documentary features
Raj Sharma, the attorney for the Bhopal victims, and includes never
before seen documents and exclusive interviews with former Union
Carbide employees. The documentary generated considerable discussion
among those present, including action that could be taken by the
Baton Rouge community to increase awareness, and listed demands
to be met by Dow and the Government of India. There were also some
questions on the next appropriate day when some action could be
On the whole the vigil and the movie generated a good discussion
and people are waiting to make the next move to spread the word
that "We all live in Bhopal" and "No more Bhopals".
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Asha will be hosting a movie screening for awareness in relation
to the anniversary actions, followed by a question and answer session
about the disaster and the ongoing campaign for justice.
Contact: Anita Satish
On December 3rd, several Bhopal supporters and members of the Association
for India’s Development (Milwaukee) visited the home of Dow
Board member James Ringler:
Ashish (from AID Milwaukee), Satish and I (from Waukegan) left
for Ringler's house around 9am. We reached Ringler's house around
9:15am and rang the bell. Waited for a few seconds before the door
was opened by Ringler's
daughter. She said -'You must be looking for my Dad', for which
we responded yes. We were told that he is out of state, gone to
Florida and is not expected back for another few months. We told
her that we wanted to give him the poster board and she said she
could not accept it. We said we would leave it at the door, for
which she told us that she would throw it out right away and that
it was no use. We stood firm that we were going to leave it there
anyway (she seemed a bit taken aback by this). After this we handed
out the letter (which consisted of the ICJB demands) and said we
wanted to give Mr. Ringler this letter. She again said that she
could not take anything from us to give him and closed the door.
We pinned this letter to the poster board and left right away. While
we were there a FedEx truck pulled in to their house and she signalled
to the FedEx delivery person to wait till we were gone. As we left
the house gates, we saw her reopening the door for the fedex person.
No Ringler, a bit disappointing!
A few questions that bothered us on our way back
- Was Ringler really away or was he in the house? There is no way
- Will his daughter let Ringler know that we were there? Perhaps
- Will she give the letter/poster reach Ringler? We don’t
know. We thought that we could post a same letter to Ringler, to
ensure that he knows we were there and that we delivered this letter
All in all a few things to think about.
Letter to Mr. Ringler
December 3rd, 2005
Dear Mr. James Ringler and all DOW Board of Directors,
We include below a transcript of a letter that was delivered to
Mr. Ringler's residence in Lake Forest IL, on December 3rd by supporters
of the campaign for justice in Bhopal.
December 3rd is the anniversary of the chemical disaster that occurred
in Bhopal 21 years ago in 1984. On this occasion we would like to
remind you of the responsibilities towards the people of Bhopal.
As Dow’s Board of Directors you have the power to change the
situation in Bhopal. We urge and demand that you to use it to
- CLEAN UP THE POISON: Clean up toxic wastes and contaminated groundwater
in and around the Union Carbide factory site. Provide safe water
to the community, and just compensation for those who have been
injured or made ill by this contamination and/or have had their
- Submit Union Carbide for TRIAL: Ensure that Union Carbide and
Warren Anderson present themselves in the Indian courts, and cease
to abscond from the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal.
- PROVIDE LONG TERM HEALTH CARE: Provide for medical rehabilitation
of the persons exposed to toxic gases and contaminated groundwater
and their children. This includes medical care, health monitoring
and necessary research studies. The company must provide all information
on the health consequences of the leaked gases and contaminants
in the ground water.
- PROVIDE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SUPPORT: Provide income opportunities
to victims who can not pursue their usual trade as a result of exposure-induced
illnesses and income support to families rendered destitute due
to death or incapacitation of the breadwinner of the family.
In solidarity with the people of Bhopal,
Students for Bhopal (www.studentsforbhopal.org)
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (www.bhopal.net/icjb.html)
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We are planning events. I have been working with the High School
Chapters in Houston to do Teach-ins on the issue. Also one of the
University groups are planning on doing tabling and outreach to
the public on the issue.
Contact: Corey Glenn,
Amnesty International Student Area Coordinator
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Johns Hopkins University
We shall be screening the 17min “Twenty Years Without Justice”
video, and do a signature drive for the 21st anniversary ... if
we can get it we’ll also host the Bhopal Photo Exhibition
around the Human Rights Day.
Contact: Nirveek Bhattacharjee,
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University of Alaska
To commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy caused
by Union Carbide/Dow Chemical in India, Alaska Community Action
on Toxics (ACAT) and Alaskans for Peace and Justice co-hosted the
film, Litigating Disaster, on Friday, December 2 about the long-term
health consequences of the chemical disaster on the people of Bhopal
at the University of Alaska- Anchorage (UAA), with discussion led
by Varsha following the film. About 40 people showed up for the
film on a snowy Friday evening.
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Take Action on Dec. 3rd, the 21st Anniversary
There are few deeds so dark as slowly poisoning a person to
The Bhopal disaster, Carbide’s chemical waste, and Dow’s
refusal to clean up continues to poison tens of thousands –
and kill another person each day. (1) Dow
(and your college, if it’s associated
with Dow) should be reminded of the names, faces and
stories of those it’s killing.
Deliver oversize posters to Dow
Board members, Dow facilities,
and (if they’re associated with
Dow) your college administrators that tell the story of a Bhopal
survivor. Set these up on the campus green or in a central area
and talk to people about what you’re doing the afternoon of
or before the delivery.
See the posters!
A Note About Printing
Your local copier should be able to print enlarged versions. Ask
for a laminated copy or staple the paper on a cardboard or plywood
backing to make signs; glue or nail a stake to the back to make
signs you can hold up and wave, or stick in the ground of your college
green. If you’re not able to print with color, the black &
white version of the poster will come out better.
Tips & Resources
Board Members: where they are
facilities: where they are
Dow at YOUR school?
list of dead & injured
Bhopal Posters & Graphics
and other resources
Media Advisory/Press Release
and fact sheets about Bhopal
..........• Draft Bhopal Quartersheets:
One & Two
..........• Amnesty International
..........• Take photos
and keep us updated!
..........• Looking for other
ideas? Want to get creative with your event? Check out
Age: 29 years
Address: A-769, Housing Board Colony, Karond, Bhopal
Sunil was 13 years old at the time of the
disaster in Bhopal. Along with other members of the family
he ran in panic after they were surrounded by the poisonous
cloud in the middle of the night. He experienced burning sensation
in the eyes and chest and cough. He got separated from his
family members ran for about 2 kms. and got on to a bus going
away from Bhopal . He vomited in the bus. About 70 kms. from
Bhopal he got down at Hoshangabad. He lost consciousness there
and was taken to the district hospital. He was admitted in
to the hospital for one week during which his main complaints
were breathlessness, cough and burning sensation in the eyes.
He returned to Bhopal to find that both his parents, 3 sisters
and 2 brothers had died due to the poison gases. His younger
siblings, sister aged 10 and brother aged 2 and half were
the only living members of his family. Since then he continues
to suffer from breathlessness, tearing in the eyes [lacrymation],
breathlessness on exertion, amnesia and nightmares still today,
particularly in winter.
In March 1997 he started "hearing voices
in his head" at night. He suffered from sleeplessness
and imagined that the voices were those of persons plotting
to kill him or cause him harm. These voices came to him even
when he shut himself up in a room.
By June 1997 his condition had aggravated.
He started hearing voices in the daytime too. His insomnia
became worse. He started running away from home to go to forests
and open spaces. Even there the voices chased him. In late
1998 he felt that his libido was diminishing. He lost interest
in sex and was not able to get a full erection.
In May 1998 he was diagnosed with paranoid
schizophrenia and prescribed drugs. According to him 75% of
his problems are in control as long as he is under medication
but soon as he stops taking them, his problems recur.
His current problems [whose severity depends
on whether he is under medication or not] include: "hearing
voices", insomnia, depression, suicidal thoughts [about
once in a month], dis-attachment from immediate surroundings,
tendency to stay lying in bed for as long as possible, need
to avoid crowds and keep himself in a closed room. He is always
afraid that people around him are trying to cause harm to
him and that some one might kill him. When his condition gets
worse he is suspicious of everybody around him including relatives
and friends. There is no loss of appetite and except for an
involuntary twitch in his left arm [which he says started
around the same time as the beginning of his mental health
problems] and seasonal aggravation of exposure related symptoms,
he has no other health problems.
Address: House 59, Union Carbide Road, Risaladar Colony, Chola,
Shahid was 8 and a half years old at the time
of the disaster. He lost his father, mother and one younger
brother in the disaster’s aftermath. Shahid's father
used to work for Food Corporation of India, which was a well-paid
job, and also had his own business. Shahid's father, Mohmammed
Shakib, took young Shahid, his daughter, father and sister
to get treatment for their eyes and breathing problems at
JP Hospital. At that time Shahid's younger brother Wahid,
his mother Shana Bee, and infant brother Badsha were also
missing. They all were separated on night of 2nd Dec when
they were all running to escape the gas. After they returned
from the hospital they found Wahid (age 7) was back in the
house. Someone had dropped him off. Shahid's father took all
the family members back to his village on 3rd Dec afternoon
in a maruti van. The condition of Shahid’s father deteriorated
as soon as they had reached the village. Others were also
having problems with their lungs and were unable to breathe.
All of them were taken to taken to Hoshangabad district hospital.
When they reached Hoshangabad hospital which is about 75km
from Bhopal, there was no room to admit anyone. They were
all full with people suffering from the effects of MIC. Except
Shahid's father everyone was released from the hospital within
half hour with some medication. Shahid and his family returned
from the hospital. Shahid was unable to see because his eyes
were swollen, so his uncle called him in front of his mother's
dead body and asked him to carry out a death ceremony which
a son should carry out for his mother at the time of her death.
During the ceremony the son thanks his mother for the nurturing
she provided to him as a young infant. This was the first
time he had realized that his mother had died. That same night
he also found out that his father had also died because he
saw the dead body when it was brought to his house in village.
Shahid stayed with his family in the village for 10-15 days
and on the 8th days he found out that his younger brother,
Badsha, had also died.
Until 1992 Shahid and his two remaining siblings
lived with their grandmother, but left when they learned that
she considered them a burden. They have fended for themselves
since they were teenagers, living on their compensation money.
They put themselves through high school.
The three children got compensation of three
hundred thousand rupees. Shahid and Wahid each got 66 thousand
rupees and Nilofer got 33 thousand. The rest was paid to their
All the money that Shahid got was spent long
ago on medicines to try and cope with his personal injuries.
He suffers from breathlessness, weakness, numbness in hands
and legs, periodic illness, and aches.
Shahid has always been active in the fight
against Union Carbide. In the beginning he was part of the
group called "children against Carbide", which consisted
of all the children who had lost their parents on the night
of the disaster. In 1993 Shahid organized 27 orphaned kids
and started demanding employment from the government. In 1994
their demands were accepted by Digvijay Singh government,
but even now nothing has been done for them except fake promises.
The group of orphans that Shahid organized is now called Bhopal
Ki Awaaz (Voice of Bhopal). In 2004, 4 members Bhopal Ki Awaaz
with the help of ICJB started their own source of income generation
project called Chirag. They rent out solar lanterns to the
vegetable, fruit hawkers and fish stalls for the evening.
At the end of the evening they collect a rent of Rs 8 for
the day. They have made more than Rs 60,000 in revenues and
have 33 running lanterns. He is also an active member of the
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.
I CALL HER MY ADOPTED MOTHER, she says I am
her daughter and that I’ll be there for her whenever
she needs me. I just hope I will be, but these days I’m
far away in England & I can’t stop worrying about
I first met Mehboob Bi when Tim and I were
filming with the People’s Tribunal – this is when
she lived in her old house, it was a lot better than the house
she lives in now, but the moneylenders took it.
She had mortgaged it to get money for medicines
for her sick husband, Chand Miya. He told her not to spend
money oh him, she replied, ‘How can I not?’
Now she has moved to a corner of Qazi Camp
to a house without a roof. In the monsoon the rain comes right
in. The house is beside the stinking naala (an open sewage
ditch). It was the only place she could find. I went to see
the Chief Minister to ask him for some money for a new roof.
He gave me 500 rupees, so I just spat in the earth outside
his house. After this Raghu Rai the photographer and some
others paid for a new roof.
Mehboob Bi, she has the most wonderful presence,
looks straight into your eyes like she knows the truth.
The film cameraman was being an asshole and
Mehboob Bi began to cry. I went and sat next to her and hugged
her and cried with her.
She had just lost Chand, she was emotionally
raw. You could see the pain and feel it in her. Tim and I
then took a French journalist to her house. In the one room
where everyone slept there was a goat tied to the steel bed.
When he offered her money she refused to take it, so he left
it under her pillow.
Mehboob Bi was married to Chand Miya. She
did not belong to Bhopal. When she arrived here life was really
easy as Chand Miya was working for Union Carbide.
‘We were so happy. We used to be well
off, but my Kismet was written in Bhopal.’
Even today when she speaks of Chand tears roll from her eyes.
She is so deeply wounded, so hurt. The gas has taken everything.
From the first time I saw her to the time
when I left for England her face has weathered. Her daughter,
the youngest one was so beautiful and wild, she looked a lot
like her mother in the picture that Mehboob Bi shows so proudly
of her and her husband.
She showed us an album of her pictures from
before her marriage. She was stunning, dressed in short kurtas
with big goggles, two plaits and curls plastered to the sides
of her cheeks. One of her daughters said ‘Ammi looks
like Mala Sinha.’ ‘No,’ said the other one,
‘she’s like Sadhna.’ (Both Indian filmstars.)
‘Chal hat pagli ladki’.
Go on with you silly girl. That is what she said to her daughter
with a coy smile.
When her daughters were small and there was
no food Mehboob Bi used to give them water at night to fill
their stomachs. ‘Afterwards I came to know that in many
places the wells have been poisoned by that factory, the same
cursed place that tried to kill us all with gas.’
So many years after the disaster Mehboob Bi
suffers from serious head aches, often faints and gets very
high temperatures for which there is no clear or obvious cause.
‘I am waiting, daughter,’ she
tells me. ‘I am just waiting to go. I’m so tired,
but who will look after these children then? The debt collectors
will tear them apart, so the least I can do is spare them
from debt before I go.
‘My husband warned me how dangerous
the chemicals were. If by mistake you put your hand into them
your hand would dissolve.
‘The day after the tragedy when we came
back home our utensils were covered with a green coating.
Chand Miya did not let us come in to the house he cleaned
everything up, washed every corner of the house before he
let us come in.
‘The days just before the disaster were
the last few days I saw him happy. Our miseries began on that
night. All of us had breathed the gas, but he most of all.
When he got really ill and could no longer work . . . I .
. . we ran short of money and I started work for the first
time. He apologised to me for putting me through this. ‘I
said jaan hai to jahaan hai, if we have life we have the world.
He often told me not to spend the money on
him and his illness. “I will die,” he said, “don’t
waste your money on me.”
‘And he did. He left me alone.’
Breathlessness since gas disaster, Constant cough, nearsightedness,
tears in eyes, pain in joints, numbness.
I used to do manual work on a daily basis before the gas
disaster and now I am not able to do any physical labor. Since
I can't earn my living by physical labor so I have to depend
on others in my family to live my life. All members in my
family is sick. My youngest son, Shyam was 1.5 years old when
he was exposed to toxic gas. He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder from past two years.
I firmly believe 100% that what my son and my family ailments
are due to Union Carbide's toxic poisons. My wife, Dalima
is also constantly sick. Since I am unable to work, and when
my son became old enough to work he also became mentally unstable.
I do whatever I can do to earn a living for my family.
Every month I earn Rs 1000-1200, which is sometimes not even
enough to feed my family.
Paan Bai was 18 when the gas leaked. She couldn’t open
her eyes for a month afterwards. Then the cataracts came and
ruined her vision within seven months.
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