After 30 years the Bhopal Medical Appeal, which runs free health clinics for survivors, estimates that 120,000 to 150,000 survivors still struggle with serious medical conditions including nerve damage, growth problems, gynecological disorders, respiratory issues, birth defects, and elevated rates of cancer and tuberculosis.
November 30, 2014
At a press conference on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster, representatives of five organizations of the survivors presented their list of demands and recent achievements of their struggle. To see the demands click here.
Holding the two US corporations, Union Carbide and Dow Chemical, primarily responsible for the ongoing disasters in Bhopal, the organizations charged both the US and Indian governments of aiding corporate crime. They demanded that Union Carbide and Dow Chemical answer criminal charges and obey Bhopal court’s summons, pay additional compensation, and arrange for a clean up of the toxic contamination in Bhopal.
The organizations demanded that the US government acknowledge and express regret for financing the hazardously designed Union Carbide plant in Bhopal through the EXIM bank. They demanded that the US government also express regret for refusing to extradite prime accused Warren Anderson who died while absconding from Indian courts.
The organizations called upon the Indian government to move on extradition of John McDonald, secretary of Union Carbide and not allow Dow Chemical to make any investment in the country until it accepted Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal.
The organizations also demanded that the Indian government set up a commission on Bhopal for effective medical care and economic rehabilitation and social support and create a special prosecution cell for speedy prosecution of the accused Indian corporate officials including Keshub Mahindra.
Completion of the project for the supply of clean drinking water to 50, 000 residents of the communities with contaminated groundwater in August this year, Dow Chemical’s withdrawal of its corporate logo from the Olympic stadium wrap in 2012, the blacklisting of Dow Agrosciences by the government in 2011 and most recently the summoning of Dow Chemical to the Bhopal district court are some of the notable achievements of the struggle of the survivors in the last four years.
The five organizations that have been working together for the last five years are organizing a “festival of alternatives” till December 2, showcasing sustainable solutions in healthcare, energy, education, livelihood and agriculture. 46 organizations from different parts of the country are participating in this festival.
A delegation with representatives from 10 trade unions of Scotland and members of Friends of Earth, Scotland, ANOREV, Hong Kong, Hazards Network, UK, Minamata Solidarity Network, Japan, Bhopal Medical Appeal, UK, Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific, Malaysia are among the international supporters of the Bhopal justice struggle who are arriving in Bhopal to express solidarity.
Members and supporters of the Bhopal survivors’ organizations will take part in a torchlight rally on December 2 and a rally to the Carbide factory on December 3. Musical events would be held in the evenings of December 1 and 3 at Iqbal Maidan, the venue for the alternatives festival.