Volunteers demand the Government of India to take immediate actions to ensure social and economic rehabilitation of the survivors.
The Association for India’s Development (AID) expresses solidarity with survivors of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in their struggle for justice. December 2-3rd marked the 21st anniversary of the worst industrial disaster in human history. Twenty thousand people died immediately after the toxic gas leak from the Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing plant. Dow Chemical, a US-based corporation now owns Union Carbide and consistently refuses to accept any liability for the survivors of the 1984 gas tragedy. The government of India is neither bringing Dow to justice nor providing enough attention to long-term social, medical and economic rehabilitation of the survivors. “We deplore the failure of Government of India to ensure rehabilitation of the survivors and to hold Dow Chemical accountable.” said Kiran Vissa, from AID Borad of Directors.
Toxics from the abandoned factory continue to pollute the drinking water of the communities causing various health problems. Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide when the disaster happened, is still fugitive from Indian courts and refuses to stand trial. Government of India should expedite the extradition of Warren Anderson, and order Dow Chemical to clean up the factory site. There are no efforts by the government of India or Government of Madhya Pradesh for economic and medical rehabilitation of the survivors and their children who inherited the effects of the toxic gas their parents inhaled. The state and central governments have failed to provide basic utilities to the communities such as clean drinking water and setting up commissions to study the long-term effects on the communities.
AID supports the demands of the survivor groups in Bhopal (see enclosed releases from the survivors for detailed demands) who are demanding justice from Government of Madhya Pradesh, Government of India, and Dow Chemical Corporation.
AID chapters throughout the US marked the anniversary by organizing vigils, public meetings, video screenings and exhibitions to create awareness about the continuing plight of the survivors. More than 300 volunteers and supporters participated in these activities. New chapters such as AID at University of California at Berkeley organized documentary screening and a poster exhibits on Thursday December 1st. “The event is to increase awareness about role of Dow Chemical in continuing tragedy of the Bhopal survivors. As we want the UC system to divest from Dow chemicals it’s important for us that more and more people understand Dow’s role in Bhopal.” said Chandana Achanta, an AID volunteer from UC Berkeley. Many AID volunteers also took part in actions with other Bhopal support groups in Chicago and Midland Michigan, headquarters of Dow Chemical, to personally deliver demands of the Bhopal survivors to four board members of Dow Chemicals.
The Association for India’s Development (AID), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization with 36 chapters and more than 1000 volunteers in the US. AID is committed to alleviating poverty in India, measuring progress with the yardsticks of self-reliance, social justice, people’s involvement, and volunteerism. AID supports development efforts to empower poor and marginalized communities in India through interventions in areas such as women’s issues, education, literacy, micro-credit, community health, sustainable livelihoods, watershed development and environmental justice. AID is working with the communities in Bhopal on livelihood generation projects. Additional information about AID is at www.aidindia.org
AID strongly demands the Government of India to take action on the demands of Bhopal survivors. We commit our support to the struggle which is a source of inspiration for our volunteers who stands for just and equitable development.