Tag Archives: Students for Bhopal

Press on Students for Bhopal in Boston/Cambridge, 2006-2009

Press Releases:

Cambridge Council Dumps Dow Chemical, Cites Bhopal (09/26/06)

Boston Coalition for Bhopal ‘Dies-in’ Copley Sq. (05/08/06)


Group raises money for Bhopal survivors at MIT (Cambridge Chronicle, 09/23/09)

Protesters target owner of Taj Boston (Boston Globe, 04/08/07)

City to mull dumping Dow (Cambridge Chronicle, 10/05/06)

Activists celebrate victory at City Hall (Cambridge Chronicle, 09/28/06)

Protesters target Dow, stage ‘die-in’ at Copley (Boston Herald, 05/07/06)

Letters to the Editor:

Dump Dow because of Bhopal disaster (09/21/06)

Bhopal – forgotten? (08/26/06)

Peace at home and abroad (08/11/06)

On TV:

Bhopal, 22 years later (CCTV, 10/16/06)

Cambridge City Council passes Bhopal resolutions (CCTV, 10/16/06)

Cambridge for Bhopal (CCTV, 08/14/06)

On the Radio:

Interview with AID-Boston volunteer Sudarshan Vasudevan about the “Blue Planet Run” (WMBR MIT Campus Radio, 06/13/07)

The entire program can be accessed at WMBR’s archive at: http://www.wmbr.org/www/sched-wed under the program titled “What’s Left”.

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Bhopal re-enacted on US city streets

PHOTOS at: http://bhopal.shutterfly.com
CONTACT: Aquene Freechild, 617-378-2579, aquene@gmail.com
Nirveek Bhattacharjee, 410-627-7679, Nirveek@bme.jhu.edu
Saturday, May 6th – International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal members in 4 cities hosted events and re-enactments of the 1984 Union Carbide Chemical Disaster in Bhopal, India at noon this past Saturday. In Seattle, Boston and Cincinnati, professionals and students lay under shrouds to raise awareness about Dow Chemical Company’s role in the 22,000+ deaths in Bhopal, parallel education events were held in Portland, OR. The members of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) want Dow to take responsibility for the toxic clean up in Bhopal and face criminal charges.
The names of those killed in the 1984 Disaster, and those who died as recently as 2004, were perched atop the veiled bodies, much the way unidentified bodies were numbered after the gas leak. In Boston, the Dow Grim Reaper passed among the victims symbolizing Dow Chemical’s role in the ongoing poisoning of 20,000 Bhopal residents forced to drink contaminated water. Dry ice haze mimicked the methyl isocyanate gas that leaked from the Union Carbide plant 21 years ago after midnight, causing over 8,000 people to drown in their own fluids within days of the gas leak.
“I have family in Bhopal and feel that while I am in the US, it is my responsibility to use my privilege in the interests of justice for the victims,” said Suvrat Raju, a Physics Ph.D candidate at Harvard at the Boston event.
Dow, which bought Union Carbide (UCC) in 2001, refuses to clean up the abandoned factory site and resulting heavy metal and pesticide contaminated ground water. After Dow purchased Union Carbide, it put aside $2.2 billion dollars to deal with Union Carbide’s asbestos liabilities, but refused to accept any responsibility for Carbide’s Bhopal liabilities.
Dow’s Annual General Shareholder Meeting will be held in Midland, Michigan at 10am Thursday, May 11th. A shareholder resolution on Bhopal asks Dow to report on any new initiatives to address concerns of Bhopal survivors. See www.proxyinformation.com.
“Members of the public present are outraged that Dow Chemical refuses to acknowledge its liabilities. They have pledged that they will not work for Dow or any of its subsidiaries until the company addresses its responsibilities in Bhopal,” commented Association for India’s Development organizer Priya Raghav at the Seattle event.
“Dow Chemical’s behavior in Bhopal is symbolic of the behavior of much of the Chemical Industry. The industry has changed little since this tragedy – learned little from 22,000 deaths in Bhopal. We have poor chemical security laws here in the US, despite 110 facilities that could endanger more than a million people. We all live in Bhopal.” said Aquene Freechild, posing as the Dow Chemical Grim Reaper in Boston.
On April 17th, American supporters of the Bhopal hunger strike claimed victory along with Bhopali fasters as the Indian Government conceded to survivor demands for clean drinking water, establishing national commission for medical and economic rehabilitation, and declaring December 3rd a National Day of mourning for the victims of the 1984 Disaster. The hunger strike followed a month-long 500-mile march from Bhopal to New Delhi. Over 400 international supporters pledged to fast for at least a day in solidarity with the Bhopal hunger strikers and bombarded the Prime Ministers office with over 2700 faxes.
While the Prime Minister agreed to demands to address the contamination and to provide water to the community, he did not agree to exclude Dow Chemical to force it to appear in Indian Criminal Court and pay for site clean up. Instead he agreed to explore what options exist within the law to hold Dow/Carbide accountable. What remains is an array of serious issues that continue to be raised by survivors and human rights groups around Dow/Carbide’s liabilities associated with the disaster. A US District Court case asking for injunctive relief for the land and water contamination in Bhopal and damages, is on appeal. In India, criminal charges of culpable homicide against Union Carbide have yet to be faced by the US Corporation.
PHOTOS at: http://bhopal.shutterfly.com, higher resolution photos available upon request
Seattle: Priya Raghav, 425- 533-1178, priya.raghav@gmail.com, Location: Univ. of Washington,
Cincinnati: Sandesh Samandria, (513) 297-4822, Sandesh_sam@yahoo.com, Location: Univ. of Ohio- Cincinnati Campus Green
Portland: Sathish Sundaram, (513) 886-1996, sathish.sundaram@gmail.com, Location: Portland Farmer’s Market
Boston: Aquene Freechild, 617-378-2579, afreechild@environmentalhealthfund.org, Location: Copley Sq.
The US branch of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal works as a coalition with groups such as Amnesty International, Association for India’s Development, and Sierra Student Coalition with 40 chapters among professionals and students. It uses education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action to pressure Dow Chemical and the Indian Government to uphold the Bhopalis’ demand for justice, and their fundamental human right to live free of chemical poison.

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Students for Bhopal 2005 Conference Recap!

The first Students for Bhopal conference was a blast! More than 30 SfB members attended from as far away as India, and more than 12 schools were represented overall. From start to finish, the conference was one big PARTY!

Well, not exactly, but we did have a lot of fun. Held at the University of Cincinnati campus and graciously hosted by AID-Cincinnati from Sept. 3-4, 2005, the conference brought together students to learn about Bhopal and plan for the year ahead. In 17 sessions spread over two days (September 3-4, 2005) the conference covered topics ranging from updates on the campaign and lawsuits against Dow-Carbide to workshops on organizing, media and outreach.

Notable Sessions:

“Students for Bhopal”
Ryan Bodanyi, the Coordinator of Students for Bhopal, discussed the state of the student movement for justice – and drew lessons from the previous student movement against Dow which forced the company to stop the production of Napalm. Today, Dow is again vulnerable to student protest: its connections with schools across the country include recruiting, research, massive contributions and college investments in the company totaling at least $110 million.

“Bhopal Campaign”
Rachna Dhingra, the India Coordinator for ICJB, brought us up to date on the very latest news from Bhopal – but not before we surprised her with us all singing “Happy Birthday!”

“Shared Experience”
John Mathias moderated an interactive session in which attendees shared their own experiences of organizing for Bhopal. The session featured a report from Akhil Katyal, representing “We for Bhopal” plotting

at Delhi University in India, about their meeting with the President of India; their fact-finding trip to Bhopal last year; and the report and film which they produced, documenting their experiences.

“Vision for SfB”
In this session, facilitated by Aquene Freechild, we dreamed about what SfB might look like in two years – and what we might accomplish. A few nuggets:

• 12 New England colleges divest from DOW, Wheaton College leads the way.
• Local story – Wheaton college students convince President Crutcher to sign pledge to not have any affiliation with Dow. No investments, contributions or buying of Dow products because of Bhopal.
• “I thought I could run and hide but I guess college students do more than skip classes and guzzle beer. Who’d have guessed?” – Warren Anderson, from Indian Jail.
• Dow executives have fled the country for Antarctica, the only place they are safe.
• Bhopal advocates march on White House and Indian Embassy in simultaneous giant protests
• Indian embassy hangs sign outside: “Sorry about being big jerks re: Bhopal”

JusticeForBhopal SfB conference 2005
Justice for Bhopal! 

The conference was also a great opportunity for SfB members to have fun together and get to know each other. Friends were made, meals were shared (the food at the conference was absolutely delicious) and laughter was almost everywhere (most of it inspired by DC, Adriane, or Somnath). Saturday night featured a walk along the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, organized by Sandesh (who also served as an impromptu tour guide). The night included a stroll across the purple bridge, led by the infamous “cool Wheaton” gang, who delighted the crowd by leading with a jig.

None of it would have been possible without the tremendous support from AID-Cincinnati, our conference hosts. They did an outstanding job arranging for meals, facilities, and accommodations, and we all owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all their hard work!

We’re already planning for next year’s conference, also planned for Labor Day weekend. So save the date!

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Declaration from Students for Bhopal: In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

The following Student Declaration to Dow was issued on May 5th, 2005, and was presented to Dow at their annual Shareholder Meeting.

See press release here. 

In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

To The Dow Chemical Company

We are outraged.

Twenty years ago, on Dec. 3rd, 1984, thousands of people in Bhopal, India, died after a catastrophic chemical leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant. More than 150,000 people were left severely disabled—of whom 20,000 have since died of their injuries­—in a disaster now widely acknowledged as the world’s worst-ever industrial disaster.

Bhopal is not only a disaster, but a corporate crime. None of the six safety systems at the plant were functional, and Union Carbide’s own documents prove the company cut corners on safety and maintenance in order to save money. Today, twenty years after the Bhopal disaster, those who survived the gas remain sick, and the chemicals that Union Carbide left behind in Bhopal have contributed to an epidemic of cancers, birth defects, and other afflictions.

Although Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide in 2001, it still refuses to accept Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal—or even admit that they exist. For the past three years, Dow-Carbide has refused to:

1) Clean up the site, which continues to contaminate those near it, or to provide just compensation for those who have been injured or made ill by this poison;
2) Fund medical care, health monitoring and necessary research studies, or even to provide all the information it has on the leaked gases and their medical consequences;
3) Provide alternate livelihood opportunities to victims who can not pursue their usual trade because of their exposure-induced illnesses;
4) Stand trial before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal, where Union Carbide faces criminal charges of culpable homicide (manslaughter), and has fled these charges for the past 12 years.

In light of these facts, we, the undersigned students and organizations, have signed this declaration to mark the 20th year of the Bhopal disaster:

We don’t believe Dow-Carbide should be allowed to walk away from what happened in Bhopal. Enron’s crimes may have cost people their retirement portfolios, but Dow-Carbide’s crimes in Bhopal have cost tens of thousands of people their health and their lives. Today, Dow-Carbide seems content to condemn the survivors of Bhopal to wallow in the contamination it left behind. We believe the fact that Dow-Carbide has not acted to stop the ongoing contamination of tens of thousands—for which it is responsible—is inhumane, unjust, and immoral.

We are outraged. We don’t want our institutions of learning associated with a corporation that maintains its profit margins by evading its responsibilities to those it has poisoned. Dow-Carbide’s callous disregard for the value of human life doesn’t seem to have changed since the Vietnam War, and we don’t believe students are going to be any more forgiving now than they were then.

Until Dow resolves its legal and moral responsibilities in Bhopal, we are committed to:

• Educating our fellow students and our communities about the Bhopal disaster and Dow-Carbide’s unresolved responsibilities.
• Organizing within our schools to demand, as during the Vietnam War, that our institutions of learning are not tainted by Dow’s legacy of death.
• Demanding that our institutions do not invest in a company that maintains its profit margins by avoiding the toxic legacies it’s created around the world.

We, the undersigned students and organizations, are committed to continuing and intensifying our campaign for justice in Bhopal. We are committed to organizing a new student movement against your company, the first since the Vietnam War. We are committed to fighting for justice until Dow accepts all of its responsibilities in Bhopal.

You can expect to be surprised by students and supporters of the Bhopal campaign so long as you continue to evade your responsibility in Bhopal. You can expect protests, direct actions, and embarrassment in the media. You can expect students across the world to demand that their institutions of learning sever ties with your company, as they did during the Vietnam War. You can expect this student movement to grow until you fulfill all the demands of the survivors of your disaster.

We are committed to the Battle for Bhopal, and we will not rest until justice is done.


Albany Medical College
Jasbir Virk
virkj at mail dot amc dot edu

University of Arizona
Ranjini Swaminathan, AID-Tucson
tucson at aidindia dot org

Bard College
Samira Desai, Human Rights Project
SD392 at bard dot edu

Bates College
Trang Nguyen, Director, Agent Orange Campaign
tnguyen2 at bates dot edu

Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany
Shrinivas Tukdeo, Bhopal-Cottbus
shrinivastukdeo at yahoo dot com

Brown University
Aditi Bhaskar, Brown Amnesty International Chapter
aditi38 at hotmail dot com

Sushil Jacob, Political Action Chair, South Asian Students Association
Sushil at alumni dot brown dot edu

Rahul Kamath, South Asian Students Association (SASA)

University of California, Berkeley
South Asia Development Alternatives Network
indian_development_group at groups dot yahoo dot com

University of California, Davis
Roshani Parekh, AWAAZ Magazine
Enironmental Policy & Planning Commission,
Associated Students of UC Davis
rrparekh at ucdavis dot edu

University of California, San Diego
Tara Ramanathan
tramanat at ucsd dot edu

Nirmala Tammineni, President
San Diego Chapter, Association for India’s Development
sandiego at aidindia dot org

University of California, Santa Cruz
Tim Krupnik, Department of Environmental Studies

University of Chicago
Allison Hannon, Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO)
ahannon at uchicago dot edu

University of Cincinnati
Rishi Khar, President, AID Cincinnati
aid2 at email dot uc dot edu

Sandesh Samdaria
sandesh_sam at yahoo dot com

Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India
Anivar Aravind, Stolengeneration
anivar at riseup dot net

Delhi University, India
Madhumita Dutta, We for Bhopal
mdutta at vsnl dot net

Duke University
Somnath Baidya Roy
sbroy at duke dot edu

Emory University
Girija Sankaranarayanan, Association for India’s Development
gsanka2 at emory dot edu

Flintridge Preparatory High School
Preeti Upadhyaya, Students Against Corporate Crime
missprifi at yahoo dot com

GAIA (Global Alternate Information Applications), India
Renjith Kumar.K.G
info_gaia at riseup dot net

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Srinivasan Seetharaman, Association for India’s Development
srini084 at gmail dot com

Georgia State University
Taka Ono, the Greens of Georgia State University
tono1 at student dot gsu dot edu

Grand Valley State University
Paul Damore
damorep at student dot gvsu dot edu

Sara Smolinski, President, Biology Club of GVSU
BIOCLUB at student dot gvsu dot edu

Green Festivals Initiative, Chennai, India
Dharmesh Shah, We Feel Responsible
shahdharmesh at vsnl dot net

Harvard University
Suvrat Raju, Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice
suvrat at physics dot harvard dot edu

Pratibha Krishnamurthy-Shrivastava
pratibha_shrivastava at ksg06 dot harvard dot edu

Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas
Christina Billingsley
christina dot billingsley at ssc dot org

Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
Andy Glaser, Amnesty International Group Coordinator
AG4932 at aol dot com

University of Houston
Chakradhar Iyyunni, Ph.D, Association for India’s Development-Houston
AID at UH dot EDU

Ishaan Kapoor, Association for India’s Development-Houston

IIT Madras, Chennai, India
Yash Jain, We Feel Responsible
kool_yash at yahoo dot com

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ra Ravishankar, South Asian Collective
ravishan at students dot uiuc dot edu

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India
Nahar J Muhammed, Representative, Student Council
naharj at naharnet dot com

Indiana University, Bloomington
Yogesh L. Simmhan, AID-Bloomington
ysimmhan at indiana dot edu

Johns Hopkins University
Arun Sripati, Association for India’s Development
aidjhuinfo at yahoo dot com

University of Kansas
Nadim Asrar, Department of Theatre and Film
nadim at ku dot edu

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Anand Chandolu, President, AID Baton Rouge
ch_anandkumar at yahoo dot com

Loyola College, Chennai, India
Someetharan, We Feel Responsible
someeth at yahoo dot com

Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India
Jibu Thomas, Greenyouth Movement
jambukan at yahoo dot com
91-481-2732002 (hostel)

University of Maryland, College Park
Mohan Bhagat, AID-College Park
bhagat at glue dot umd dot edu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Mona Mandal, AID-Boston
info at aidboston dot org

Medical College Thrissur, Kerala, India
Sanitha Sathyan, Stolengeneration
sanithasathyan123 at yahoo dot co dot in

University of Michigan
Varsha Mathrani, Justice for Bhopal, AID-Ann Arbor
raincountry0 at yahoo dot com

Deepti Reddy, Co-facilitator, Environmental Action
dgreddy at umich dot edu

University of Minnesota
Tathagata Mitra, AID Minnesota
mitra6uf at yahoo dot com

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Naomi Solomon, President, Green Party of UNL
naomispaceboy at yahoo dot com

New York University
Kranthi K Gade, AID – New York
kranthi at cs dot nyu dot edu

Warren Andrews
warren at nyu dot edu

Northampton High School, Northampton, Massachusetts
Tory Michak, Co-President, Amnesty International
nhsamnesty at gmail dot com

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chandana Achanta, AID Chapel Hill, Research Triangle
achanta at email dot unc dot edu

University of North Texas
Ambreen Rahman, Amnesty International
theinsideroute at aol dot com

Occidental College
Clayton Perry, Oxy Conscious
perry at oxy dot edu

Penn State University
Sameer Marathe, President, AID Penn State

Uma Asher, Association for South Asia Research

Angeliki Vgontzas, Coordinator, Amnesty International Penn State
Angeliki1 at aol dot com

University of Pennsylvania
Nitin Bakshi, AID Philadelphia
philly at aidindia dot org

Portland State University
Sathish Sundaram
sathish dot sundaram at gmail dot com

Princeton University
Sujata Ray, AID Princeton
sray at Princeton dot EDU

Queens University, Canada
Sadiqa Khan
skhan at kingston dot net

South Asia Forum – Madison
Vidhi Parthasarathy
vidhipartha at gmail dot com

SAPAC (South Asian Progressive Action Collective), Chicago
Alpana Patel

Khelan Bhatt
khelan at hotmail dot com

Stanford University
Sudarshan Suresh, AID-Bay Area
sudarshan dot suresh at gmail dot com

St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School, Newark, New Jersey
Daniel Saraiva, President, SBP Environmental Club
dsaraiva at sbp dot org

Stella Maris and Ethiraj College, Chennai, India
Karuna Amarnath, Students for Society
karunaamarnath at rediffmail dot com

University of Texas, Austin
Nishant Jain, Association for India’s Development – Austin
nishj at umich dot edu

Tufts University
Aditya Nochur, Environmental Consciousness Outreach (ECO)
Aditya dot Nochur at tufts dot edu

Tulane University
Biswanath Gouda, President, AID -New Orleans
bisu_g at yahoo dot com

Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
Lakshmi Venugopal & Bhuvana Murali, We Feel Responsible
crazylaks at rediffmail dot com
bonzee at gmail dot com

Vintage High School, Napa, California
Sushanna Ellington, Advisor
Amnesty International
Poetry Club
sellington at nvusd dot k12 dot ca dot us

University of Washington
Tapoja Chaudhuri
tapoja at gmail dot com

Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Aditi Desai, South Asian Students Association
adesai at wheatonma dot edu

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Kamayani Swami, AID-Milwaukee
kamayani02 at yahoo dot com

Young Volunteers for the Environment, Togo
M ADESSOU Kwaku, Program Officer, Young Volunteers for the Environment
yvetogo at hotmail dot com


*Neither Amnesty International nor its member chapters endorse boycotts or divestment.

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Click here for text of declaration.

CONTACT: Ryan Bodanyi, Students for Bhopal, (401) 829-6192


Threaten Divestment, Protests Over Bhopal Contamination

Today students and organizations from more than 60 colleges, high schools and universities worldwide released a Student Declaration to Dow, vowing to press their schools to divest and refuse donations from the company until it resolves its legal and moral responsibilities for the Bhopal Disaster. The Declaration, coordinated by Students for Bhopal and released in advance of the Dow Shareholder Meeting next week, signifies the largest student movement facing Dow since the end of the Vietnam War.

Continue reading Press Release: STUDENTS AT 60 SCHOOLS VOW TO FIGHT DOW

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