Press Release – Brooklyn Kids Say to Dow: Have a Heart—Justice in Bhopal!

PRESS RELEASE       November 24, 2009

Press Contacts:
Akash Mehta, age 11, 718-623-2611, akasukmeh@yahoo.com
Gautama Mehta, age 14, 718-623-2611, gautamamehta@yahoo.com
(c/o their mother Sunita Viswanath 917-518-2441, sunita@sunitav.net)
www.kidsforabetterfuture.org

Brooklyn Kids Say to Dow:  Have a Heart—Justice in Bhopal!

Kids for a Better Future (KBF) is an organization of Brooklyn kids dedicated to helping children in need around the world and to advocate for children’s rights.  KBF was founded four years ago by Akash Mehta, now 11 years old.

In 2009, KBF has directed its efforts toward fundraising and campaigning for the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster which occurred 25 years ago, on the night of December 3rd, 1984.  That night, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate (MIC) and a cloud of poisonous gas engulfed Bhopal. Ten thousand people were killed overnight, and over 20,000 people have died since this disaster.  Many are sick and dying even now as the result of the gas leak.   To date, survivors have not received adequate health care from Union Carbide or the company’s new owner, Dow Chemical.  Neither company has cleaned up the toxic waste on the factory site which continues to contaminate the ground water.

This is considered the world’s worst industrial disaster, and KBF has campaigned for justice in Bhopal all year long.  Through a Spring Walkathon in Brooklyn and several birthday appeals, KBF has raised $12,000 in 2009 for Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, which gives free healthcare to those affected by the disaster. 

Have a Heart Campaign:
KBF has collected paper hearts signed by hundreds of American children with messages to Dow Chemical.  On the 25th Anniversary of the disaster, KBF will give their hearts on behalf of the children of Bhopal to Dow Chemical.  KBF will try to get Dow employees to come outside and respond to their demands—namely, to make sure every child with an illness related to the disaster gets treated, to clean up the toxic waste on the factory site, and to bring clean water to the entire city of Bhopal.  Any press or media attention is welcome.

Time and Date: 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Thursday Dec 3rd 2009

Location: Dow Chemical, 1411 Broadway, NYC

KBF was inspired by Bhopali child activists, who last year cut out hundreds of paper hearts and presented them to the Indian government, saying, “You seem to have no heart, so here, we are giving you our own.”

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