MP Central Chronicle, December 3, 2007
Bhopal, Dec 2: Several rallies, candlelight processions, torch rallies were taken out on the eve of 23rd anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster on Sunday.
A human chain for health care was also formed, where participants alleged Government for failing to provide proper medical care at Kamla Park. On the occasion effigy of Warren Anderson was also torched as a mark of protest.
The human chain was formed by activists of Sambhavna Trust Clinic and other organisations working among the survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
Later in the evening, activists took out one candlelight procession from New Market Top-n-Town area. The rally was followed from Ganesh Mandir, Chola, which culminated at the near the premises of Union Carbide Plant Factory.
In the rally, activists raised slogans and demanded justice for the victims. They charged on the State and Union Government for failing to give adequate medical aid to the victims of worlds greatest industrial disaster.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan, a organisation fighting for the rehabilitation of gas victims, also took out a torch rally from Yaadgaar-e-Shahjehani Park to Bhart Talkies on Sunday evening.
Addressing the gathering at Neelam Park, president of the Morcha, Balkrishna Namdeo alleged Union Government for giving shelter to the Dow Chemicals. He said the company is running away from its liabilities.
On the occasion he announced that 23rd anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy would be celebrated as ‘Anti-Multinational Companies Day’.
The rally was attended by the widows of the husbands who lost life on the ill-fated interviening night of Dec 2:-3 when poisonous gas from Union Carbide Plant in 1984 leaked killing over 3,000 and affecting thousand others.
They later torched the effigy of Warren Anderson and Dow Chemicals at Lily Talkies.
They too were raising slogans against Dow Chemicals and Warren Anderson.
On Monday, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udhyog Sangathan would take out a rally from Lily Talkies. The rally will pass through Sultania Zanana Hospital, Chawni Bazaar, Ghoda Nakkas, Bus Stand, Chola to culminate at the Union Carbide Factory plant. At the ending point, tributes would be paid to the people who had lost their lives in the Bhopal Gas tragedy.
The Sambhawna Trust Clinic, addressed a press conference on Sunday.
According to the members of the Sambhavna Trust Clinic that provides free medical care to survivors of the December ’84 Bhopal disaster, highlighted the need for setting up a National Commission to address the long term medical issues.
They claimed that their internationally published research has shown that children born after the disaster to gas exposed parents are also marked by poisons of Union Carbide.
‘Bhopal victims will need specialized health care at least for the next thirty years. Setting up a National Commission focused on long term rehabilitation of the survivors and their next generation is a must’ said Dr Mohammed Ali Qaiser, physician at the Clinic.
He said that the Sambhavna Trust Clinic has developed treatment protocols integrating Allopathy, Ayurveda, Panchakarma and Yoga. Results show it is possible to provide simple, safe, inexpensive and effective health care through a holistic approach.” he said.
Dr Qaiser informed that there were more than 1,00, 000 chronically ill gas victims still need proper medical care. Expressing his concern at the sorry state of health care, he said that he comes across many cases where the gas victims have been harmed due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics, steroids and other toxic drugs at the government hospitals.
Ms Aziza Sultan, Community Health Worker at the Sambhavna Trust Clinic shared her experience of training community women in screening for cervical cancer. She said that through health education and involvement of the community, Sambhavna has been able to bring down the incidence of Tuberculosis and malaria in gas affected communities.
She bemoaned the complete complete absence of initiatives in community health work in the government system of health care of the Bhopal victims.
A member of the Steering Committee of the Clinic, Ms. Mahendra Soni said that there are 20, 000 patients registered for long term care. These include people affected by the gas disaster and those poisoned due to ground water contamination near the abandoned Union Carbide factory.
Referring to the six reports of the Supreme Court appointed Committee for monitoring health care of Bhopal victims, Ms. Rana Lodi, administrator of the Clinic, expressed concern that none of the recommendations of this Committee had been implemented by the state government.