Survivors welcome Coordination Committee, oppose inclusion of ex-Union Carbide doctor

BHOPAL GAS PEEDIT MAHILA STATIONERY KARMACHARI SANGH • BHOPAL GAS PEEDIT MAHILA PURUSH SANGHARSH MORCHA • BHOPAL GROUP FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION • BHOPAL KI AAWAAZ
May 13, 2006
PRESS STATEMENT, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Survivors organisations welcome the formation of a Coordination Committee, but oppose inclusion of ex-Union Carbide doctor instrumental imemdiately post-disaster in the sodium thiosulphate scandal that cost thousands of lives
Leaders of four organizations working with survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, today hailed the formation of the Coordination Committee on Bhopal by the Central government. However, they strongly condemned the composition of the committee that is dominated by government officials, that includes N P Mishra, a former medical advisor to Union Carbide, and that fails to include the majority of survivors’ organisations in Bhopal. These four organizations have written to the Prime Minister requesting his personal intervention to ensure a more balanced committee that includes their representatives.
The four organisations who led the 800 kilometer long march to New Delhi in February this year had called specifically for the setting up of such a crucial committee as their first priority. The Prime Minister conceded to the demand on 17 th April after meeting with representatives of these organizations. In line with the demands of the four organisations, the Coordination committee is expected to plan and implement schemes for medical, economic and social rehabilitation of the people poisoned by Union Carbide in Bhopal. It is a travesty, they stated today, that none of their representatives have yet been incorporated into the Coordination Committee.
The organisations have also taken strong exception to the inclusion of Dr N P Mishra, former medical advisor to Union Carbide in Bhopal, in the committee. According to them Dr Mishra is responsible for thousands of preventable deaths because of his opposition to the administration of sodium thiosulphate to the survivors in the aftermath of the disaster. Many lives could have been saved, they asserted today, if gas-affected people had received this injection in time. Administration of sodium thiosulphate helpful as it was in detoxifying the body, also demonstrated that contrary to Union Carbide’s position that only lungs and eyes were damaged by the toxic gases the poisons had actually entered the blood stream and caused damage to almost every organ in the body.
At least one of the nine members of the Committee, Ms Madhumita Dutta from New Delhi has already tendered her resignation to protest against the imbalance of the committee, the inclusion of Dr Mishra and exclusion of the leaders of the four organizations.
Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
93031 32959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact : House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
For the latest information on the Bhopal disaster please continue to visit www.bhopal.net

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