Tag Archives: compensation

Private clinics mushroom in gas-hit Bhopal: Gas-hit areas in the Madhya Pradesh capital have seen a sharp rise in the number of private medical practitioners in the past two decades

IndiaPRwire, October 10, 2006
Gas-hit areas in the Madhya Pradesh capital have seen a sharp rise in the number of private medical practitioners in the past two decades.
Over 3,000 people were killed when 40 tonnes of lethal MIC gas leaked out of Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in December 1984. To this day, residents exposed to the lethal gas have been suffering from respiratory and other ailments.
The number of private nursing homes and clinics in gas-hit areas has shot up from 60 to 260 in just two decades. The costly treatments have drained the victims of the gas tragedy both economically and emotionally.
‘The compensation of Rs.50,000 each for the gas victims is little when compared to their huge medical bills,’ says Abdul Jabbar, an activist, and convenor of THEpal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan.
Mohan Lal, 42, has been suffering from respiratory disorders for over 22 years.
‘It’s been so many years, but it looks we’ll never get well again.’
Lal used to earn Rs.6,000 a month by selling spices till the tragedy struck. But it is difficult for him to perform physical labour now. He has sold his two ancestral homes for Rs.350,000 to sustain his family of five.
‘All the money goes into paying medical bills. Still we do not keep well,’ he rued.
There are thousands who are suffering like Mohan Lal.
The ‘irrational’ course of treatment has been condemned by activists. Apart from the respiratory system, neurological, reproductive and immune systems of the gas victims have also been affected. Cases of tuberculosis here are four times higher than the national average.
To add to their woes victims have been plagued by widespread corruption.
More than 70 percent of government doctors serving them have clinics of their own. And the patients are encouraged to see the doctors at their clinics, a report on the gas victims points out.
‘In 1996, International Medical Commission on Bhopal charged Union Carbide with concealing information on chemicals that leaked. Even now many synergistic health impacts of the toxic gases are not known,’ claims Satinath Sarangi, an activist who runs Sambhavna Clinic for the victims.
A Fact Finding Mission report released on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the tragedy also pointed out that in 72 percent cases patients are being given useless or harmful drugs and 53 percent patients are unsatisfied with the course of treatment.
The study also found many untreated mental illnesses linked to the disaster.
‘In the 9/11 case, a compensation of Rs.80 million per head was given in less than a year. But the Indian government has neglected the victims. Even in a government-sponsored scheme, only 80 gas-hit women have got a job,’ Jabbar said.

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Bhopal tragedy: Victim awaits compensation

There are still about 20,000 people who were affected in the Bhopal gas tragedy but have neither got compensation nor medical aid.
A PIL for relief for these victims is pending in the Supreme Court. An NGO has now moved another application for urgent medical aid for these victims, some of who may not survive till the court settles their compensation case.
Continue reading Bhopal tragedy: Victim awaits compensation

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Survivors 5, Vultures 0

In a comprehensive victory for Bhopal survivors, the Indian Supreme Court today affirmed that unpaid compensation money amounting to £187 million (€270 million, US$343 million), belonged to the survivors and to them alone. The court dismissed applications by the government of Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Union Carbide’s Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust and two other organisations, all of whom were hoping to grab a share of compensation money which has been sitting in a Reserve Bank of India dollar bank account for the last fifteen years.

Earlier this year survivors’ organisations petitioned the Supreme Court to order the sum, including accrued interest, to be distributed among the people for whom it had been intended, many of whom are chronically ill, unable to work and living on the edge of the abyss. The petition was granted by the Supreme Court on July 19, but distribution has been delayed by a blizzard of opportunistic applications from others who never had any right to the money.

With urban civic body elections due to take place in Bhopal next month, the BJP political party engaged in a bit of voter-massage by demanding that the money be distributed also in parts of the city that were not affected by the gas disaster. Their application was dismissed.

Union Carbide’s Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust, which is rich enough to provide a swimming pool for its staff, but which has often turned away gas victims who do not have the right paperwork, also had its application turned down.

2,000 Bhopalis, who had gathered in Delhi to demonstrate outside the Indian parliament were tonight rejoicing. You can see the rare sight of smiles on Bhopali survivors’ faces by clicking the link below to the article, which includes the official press release.


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While politicians posture, people die

For more than 20,000 people who suffered terrible injuries on the night of poison two decades ago, recent Supreme Court decisions about clean water and distribution of compensation monies come too late. Those twenty thousand are the dead. In their case neither was justice done, nor any humanity shown. The company, whose actions by any civilised standard are beneath contempt, is scarcely less callous in its treatment of the victims than successive waves of Indian politicians in central and state governments. The Supreme Court issues orders, the politicians ignore them. Hence the clean water demo of two days ago that brought Bhopal to a halt.

Today, there is more news from the Supreme Court – issues regarding distribution of compensation money are likely soon to be resolved. But local BJP politicians, led by Chief Minister Gaur, who earlier today pledged to make Madhya Pradesh a “corruption-free” zone, are asking the Court to distribute the money to the whole city, rather than just to those injured for whom it was intended and to whom it has been for so many years denied. In the unlikely event that such a petition is granted, it would be the first instance of Supreme Court-funded voter bribery.

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

October 1, 2004
Press Statement

Addressing a press conference today, leaders of four organizations active on the issues of the December1984 Union Carbide disaster informed victims of the disaster that the Supreme Court of India is most likely to resolve all pending issues regarding the distribution of balance of compensation very soon. The leaders stated that at the hearing in the Supreme Court today, the judges have clearly reiterated that the balance of compensation money can only go to individual victims of the disaster.

The matters that were taken up by the Supreme Court in today’s hearing were the submission made by the Welfare Commissioner, Bhopal Gas Victims with regard to the mode of distribution of the balance of compensation. Representing petitioners Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla and other victims, Advocate Mr. S Muralidhar argued for fair, simple and speedy distribution of the compensation amount. According to Mr. Muralidhar the court would like to hear the case at length with a view to resolving all questions at the next hearing of Supreme Court on October 26, 2004.

Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla from the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh who initiated the move for distribution of balance of compensation in March 2003 said that five applications have been filed in the matter by various agencies. The parties that have filed these applications are: Union of India, State of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust, Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] and Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan [BGPMUS]. However, the Supreme Court has not issued any notice on these applications despite plea by respective lawyers. The Court will decide whether or not to entertain them at the next hearing on 26th October.

The application by the Union of India has sought clarification on the implementation of the July 19, 2004 decision of the Supreme Court regarding compensation distribution. The application by the State of Madhya Pradesh has sought Rs. 600 Crores from the balance of compensation fund for long-term medical care and economic and environmental rehabilitation. The application by the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust has sought release of the balance moneys out of the sale of the attached shares and for further funds for carrying out its obligations to provide medical relief to gas victims beyond 2005.

The petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh unit of the BJP has sought the inclusion of the residents of the 20 unaffected wards among the recipients of the balance of compensation fund. The Petition filed jointly by the BGPMUS and the Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti has called for a re-examination of the inadequacies of the Bhopal settlement of 1989.

Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Syed M Irfan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Shahid Noor, Bhopal ki Aawaaz
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action

Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal Tel: 3132298
B-2 / 302, Sheetal Nagar, Berasia Road, Bhopal. Tel: 9826167369
For more information please visit www.bhopal.net

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Survivors celebrate Supreme Court victory

Organisations working with the survivors of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster held a celebratory party for S Muralidhar, the survivors’ lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

As counsel for Mrs Rashida Bee, Mrs Champa Devi Shukla and 34 other victims of Carbide’s gases, Muralidhar had moved a Writ arguing that undistributed compensation money held without explanation in the Reserve Bank of India for the last 15 years should be distributed among the 500,000 plus survivors. On July 19, 2004 the Supreme Court directed that the monies, amounting to Rs. 1,503 crores (€266 million, £180 million, US$324 million) belonged to the gas victims and should be given to them. Divided between more than half a million people, this isn’t Eldorado, in many cases it will not cover what people have spent on medicines, but it is nonetheless a great victory and was celebrated as such in the bastis and bidonvilles of Bhopal.

At the party, held in Chhola Naka near the Union Carbide factory, hundreds of gas victims garlanded Mr. Muralidhar amidst the sound of drums, cheering and clapping. Mr. Muralidhar in his speech advised the gas victims to deposit the money they receive in accounts in post offices. He cautioned the people not to give in to officials who might demand bribes and to put the money towards long term benefits. He assured that he would continue to fight for the rights of the gas victims. Mrs Rashida Bee and Mrs Champa Devi thanked Mr. Muralidhar on behalf of the residents of the 36 gas affected wards.<br
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Syed M Irfan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Shahid Noor, Bhopal ki Aawaaz
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action

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