PM urged to protest Dow sponsorship for Olympics

Express News Service , The New Indian Express
Posted on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:32am IST

CHENNAI: Victims and survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy have written to the Prime Minister asking him to register his protest with the UK government for accepting Dow Chemical’s sponsorship for the 2012 Olympics to be held in London.
Social activists, including from Chennai, and the survivors have shot off a similar letter to the Indian Olympic Association too.
They are also readying a petition to be signed by Olympians asking the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to reject the sponsorship.
Dow Chemicals, which bought the Union Carbide factory in 2001, refuses to accept the legal liability inherited from the takeover. Dow, which is the Worldwide Olympic Partner and the official chemistry company of the Olympic movement, will produce a sustainable ‘wrap’ that will surround the Olympic Stadium. It will be design ed by international design practice agency, Populous.
“The sponsorship of Dow Chemicals is against the sp irit of the Olympics charter,” said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action.
“Olympics charter speaks about prohibition of racism but the company that provides sponsorship for the event practices racism in its business,” she said. While Dow Chemicals has accepted to the legal liabilities of Union Carbide in the US, it refuses to accept liabilities in India, she said. “Isn’t this racism?” she asked.
According to Rachna, Dow has settled liabilities of asbestos-related pollution and health problems in 10 different instances in the United Staters.
Meanwhile, tonnes of toxic waste continue to pollute Bhopal’s water and environment.

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