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Pressure the Government of India

Back to Campaigns

Carbide may have turned Bhopal into a gas chamber, but since then the Indian Government has played a leading role in the oppression of its own citizens. Today the Indian Government continues to deny such basic requests as the need for safe drinking water, free from Carbide’s poisons. Join the Bhopal survivors in demanding justice - and force the Government to take action.

Why the Government of India? Action Ideas
How it Makes a Difference Resources
Campaign Outline  


Why Pressure the Government of India?

Naively trusting that the Indian government would come to their rescue after the disaster, the people of Bhopal were instead abandoned, sold down the river by politicians and judges, obstructed and swindled by corrupt bureaucrats, cheated by unscrupulous quacks and not infrequently beaten by their own police for daring to complain. Among other crimes, the Indian Government:

..........Prevented the administration of thiosulphate, an antidote to cyanide poisoning, in the immediate wake of the disaster, at incalculable cost to thousands of lives
..........• Decided in 1989 (without the knowledge or participation of the Bhopal survivors) to end its legal case against Union Carbide for a settlement so insulting that destitute survivors sued to contest it
..........• Continues to refuse, in violation of a May 2004 Supreme Court order, the provision of safe drinking water to the 20,000 Bhopalis forced to drink water contaminated by Carbide’s poisons.

Today, the situation in Bhopal is grave. The health care system is plagued with little or no applicable research or treatment guidelines, and the lack of a registration system means that government health care is often part of the problem. Gainful employment has only been provided to less than 200 persons. And the living environment of the survivors continues to deteriorate.

The Indian Government has a clear responsibility to its citizens, and it’s long past time they upheld it. With your help, we can force them to do so.

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How it Makes a Difference

Unfortunate as it may be, the Indian Government has proven far more responsive to public pressure from abroad than it has to its own citizens. For the past two years, international supporters have played a leading role in forcing the Indian Government to take action – winning significant victories that have improved the lives of the people of Bhopal. For example:

No Objection Certificate
In June, 2004, Students for Bhopal and other supporters from around the world coordinated a massive public campaign, forcing the Indian Government to agree to a comprehensive cleanup of the site by Union Carbide if ordered by a US federal court.

Compensation
In July, 2004, the Indian Supreme Court ordered that $330 million in additional compensation be distributed to the Bhopal victims, a ruling that closely followed an International Day of Action on February 24.

Restarting Medical Research
Responding to pressure from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) agreed in March 2005 to restart the comprehensive medical studies that it had discontinued without explanation or warning in 1994.

Public pressure remains a critical factor in holding the Indian Government accountable to the needs of the Bhopal victims. Together we can ensure that the Government does fulfill the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

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Campaign Outline

Vision
The Indian Government agrees to comply with the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

Goals
..........1. Assist the Bhopal survivors in their attempts to hold the Indian Government accountable to their needs
..........2. Ensure that fulfilling the needs of the Bhopal victims is prioritized within the Indian Government

Strategies
..........1. Generate massive and widespread public pressure against the Government of India
..........2. Use the media to highlight the failure of the Indian Government to comply with the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

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Action Ideas

Organize a Call-in Day
Set up a table in your campus crossroads and organize a mass call-in or fax-in to the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC. Ask for the Ambassador or a senior official, and tell them to comply with ICJB’s demands.

Neend Udao

Shri Babulal Gaur, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
+91 755 2442231
+91 755 2442241
+91 755 2540500
+91 755 2540501 (residential numbers at Chief Minister's house)

Shri Umashankar Gupta, Minister, Department of Gas Relief
+91 755 2431011
+91 755 2763536 (residential numbers)

Shri Iqbal Ahmed, Principal Secretary, Department of Gas Relief
+91 755 2441681 (residence)

Find out more

Neend Udao
“Neend Udao”, or “Wake Up!” in Hindi, is what the politicians in Bhopal need to do. Organize a mass call-in and give them a real "Wake Up!" call: tell them to fulfill their duty and support the needs of the Bhopal survivors. Naturally, given the time difference, it may be impossible to avoid calling at odd hours and disrupting their sleep. Be polite but firm: it’s time to agree to the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

Their home numbers are given on the right, together with a useful clock showing the current time in Bhopal. Please make good use of it.

Organize a Protest
If you live near the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, or near one of the other consulates in the United States (New York, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco), consider organizing a demonstration to call on the Indian Government to do what it should have done long ago – comply with the demands of the Bhopal survivors.

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Resources

..........Draft Media Advisory/Press Release
..........Handouts and fact sheets about Bhopal
..........Survivor testimonials
..........Bhopal Posters
..........Draft advertising poster
..........• Draft Bhopal Quartersheets: One & Two
..........Need a cheap phone card?
..........List of Bhopal slogans
..........Understand your rights

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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: April 30, 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