Tag Archives: Empowered Commission

What fate for survivors of an Indian nuclear disaster?

ICJB press release of 4 May, 2010 here

Bhopal gas survivors gathered outside the Prime Minister of India’s office in New Delhi to file Right-to-Information (RTI) requests regarding the civil nuclear liability bill and its relationship with the lessons of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal.

“We want to know whether the lingering concerns of the Bhopal disaster have been considered at all in preparing the draft of the civil nuclear liability bill. 25 years after the disaster we are still waiting for the Prime Minister to set up an Empowered Commission for proper medical care and rehabilitation. What will be the fate of the survivors of a nuclear disaster?” said Zulekha Bee a survivor of the disaster who is on a protest dharna in New Delhi since April 15 demanding the setting up of an Empowered Commission on Bhopal.

chernobyl child
Survivors of an Indian Chernobyl would get little help

“As per the proposed Civil Nuclear Liability Bill the maximum compensation payable in the event of a nuclear disaster would be 450 million US $s which is even less than the 470 million US $s paid to Bhopalis. This amount did not even pay for five years medical bills for most Bhopalis. We want to know on what basis the maximum compensation amount was fixed in the proposed Bill.” said Nawab Khan, secretary of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.

According to Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill closely resembles a draft circulated by FICCI and is designed to protect big corporations rather than the victims of industrial disaster. “The bill seeks to offer impunity to American corporations and limit compensation amount and is a blatant attempt at legitimizing the collusive settlement between Union Carbide and the Government of India. The Government has not acted on its promise to set up an Empowered Commission, even while it has taken major interest in delivering on its promise to the American nuclear industry.” she said.

The survivors of the disaster said that they have twice walked all the way from Bhopal to New Delhi in 2006 and 2008 with their demand for the setting up of an Empowered Commission on Bhopal for long term medical care and rehabilitation. According to them, on May 29, 2008 the Prime Minister had stated that the government was in agreement with the demand but the promise of setting it up with adequate authorities and fund remains to be fulfilled.

Press release: Over 100 survivors query PM’s Delhi office

One hundred and twenty five survivors of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today filed applications for information at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Braving objections of over 100 armed policemen, the survivors sought information on steps taken towards fulfillment of the Prime Minister’s promise of setting up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal for long term rehabilitation of the survivors and their children.

Bhopalis at PMOxs.jpg

Bhopalis and policexs.jpg

More photos here…

Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

094256 88215
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

093290 26319
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

098261 67369

100 children rally against Gas Relief Minister Gaur

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

November 17, 2008
*Press Statement*
Over a hundred children from the communities near the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal today set fire to an effigy of the Minister for Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation at Neelam Park. They appealed to all citizens poisoned by Union Carbide to do their best to ensure that the Minister is not re-elected from his constituency that includes areas contaminated by Union Carbide’s poisonous chemical waste.
image4xs.jpg
Photos: Prakash Hatvalne
The children said that because of their age they can not cast their vote but the outcome of the election could potentially influence their future in a big way. Ashsish (13) from Shiv Nagar said that if people vote for Mr Babulal Gaur in this election they will be condemning themselves and their children to a toxic future. Rafat (14) from Gupta Colony said that the people in the polluted areas have voted for Mr. Gaur eight times in the past, yet he has always neglected the people here. She said that four years ago the Supreme Court of India had directed Mr. Gaur’s government to supply clean water in these areas but because of his neglect till today people are forced to drink poisoned water.
image1xs.jpg
Sarita (14) from Prem Nagar said that too many children in the polluted areas are being born with physical and mental disabilities. There are children with damaged brains, with cleft lips and missing palates, with their fingers all joined together, with twisted limbs being born in families that have used the local groundwater from hand pumps for many years. She said that when people went to request Mr Gaur to arrange for medical treatment and rehabilitation for the children born with disabilities he refused to listen to them.
Vicky (12) said that Shiv Nagar where he lived with his family was more than 2 kilometers away from Union Carbide’s factory and because of continued neglect by Mr Gaur the poisons had spread over the years and reached his community. He said that Mr. Gaur has thrice been the Minister in charge of relief and rehabilitation of Union Carbide’s victims and once he was even the chief minister and till today he has not done anything to improve the conditions of the poison affected people or to protect future generations from deadly poisons.
image2xs.jpg
Yasmeen (13) from Gupta Colony said that she had walked all the way from Bhopal to New Delhi in February – March this year asking for rehabilitation and justice for the people poisoned by Union Carbide. “We won our battle after five months of struggle and the Prime Minister said that an Empowered Commission on Bhopal will be set up but now Mr Gaur is opposing the setting up of this Commission” said Yasmin who is determined to do her share to defeat Mr. Gaur in the election.
image3xs.jpg
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

9329026319
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

9826167369