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Archive for the ‘Bhopal’ Category

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.

See the phtographs below:

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Detox India- in memory and solidarity with Bhopal

1984-2008

2nd December 1984 midnight, the people and streets of Bhopal were struck by Union Carbide’s poisonous gas. From victims, pain and sorrow to memory, survival and struggle the journey has been long and there are many stories to tell. Let’s share the solidarity, the movement, the victories, the hopes and the ways forward, so that we can remember what has been and cherish what we have together in struggle achieved.

We invite you to volunteer to sing, to dance, to read poetry, to paint, to act, to exhibit photographs, film reels, articles….


….if you’ve been to the site of the tragedy, if you’ve not;


…. if you’ve been at dharnas, if you’ve not;


….if you’ve thought or pondering but not ever expressed;


…to share your own story that reflects your support to the Bhopalis & to be part of this celebration.

It’s often said that there are many other Bhopals simmering around.

We invite you to share voices and images from other parts of the country as well.

Remember to bring an effigy or symbol of something that you consider a toxic for India.

Be it pesticides or plastics, toxic toys or pictures of people burning with hate for humanity.

Anything inflammable but not explosive!

On this 2 Dec 2008 at 3pm, Jantar Mantar


We hope to exhibit these different expressions and knit them together to strengthen our collective struggles while marking one that’s close to 25 years!

Let us resolve to Detox India!!

Do circulate the invite far and wide; bring your friends, family, colleagues to the event. Let’s make it happen together!

Warm Wishes,

Shalini (9891442037), Bipin (09868280198) & Aanchal (9810191719)

Check: www.bhopal.net

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Bhopal Victory

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha

Bhopal Group for Information and Action

August 8, 2008

NEW DELHI – Bhopal survivor organisations today celebrated victory after the Government of India announced that it will set up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal, and take legal action on the civil and criminal liabilities of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. The announcement was made today by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Chemicals & Fertilisesr, at the Bhopal protest site at Jantar Mantar. Survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster and people affected by water contamination near Union Carbide’s factory Bhopal have been on strike in New Delhi for the last 130 days.

Bhopal survivors said that they were happy that the Commission would be empowered to allocate resources to different rehabilitation schemes or research projects, issue tenders, identify implementing Central or State Government agencies and change the agencies if their work is unsatisfactory. Although, the extent of funds for the Commission has not been revealed the Bhopal organizations have been assured that funds will not be a problem as the Government is committed to the Commission. The Bhopal organizations have also been assured that the Commission’s scope would include environmental, social, economic and medical rehabilitation.

The survivors organizations expect the Commission to be set up in the next two months. They said that the Commission will also take up the matter of disposal of thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste that were recklessly dumped by the factory management.The organizations expressed satisfaction that in response to their demands the government will now appoint a senior lawyer to argue the case for compensation from Dow Chemical for environmental and consequent health damages. “We expect the Government to go hammer and tongs after Dow Chemical, now that the law ministry has indicated that Union Carbide’s civil liabilities can be passed on to Dow,” the organisations said.

On the demands for deregistering the illegally registered pesticides of Dow Chemical, and revocation of approval given to Reliance for purchase of Union Carbide’s Unipol technology, the Bhopalis have decided to approach the Court. The organizations expressed satisfaction that the Government has decided that no approvals will be given to any Indian agency to purchase Union Carbide’s technology in India in future.

“We have won our demands only after facing undue harassment at the hands of the Government and Delhi Police,” the three organisations said. After the month-long walk and 70-day dharna in Delhi by Bhopalis failed to evoke any response from the Government, 9 Bhopalis launched an indefinite fast lasting 21 days. More than 800 people from at least 10 countries joined them in solidarity by fasting for a day or longer. Diane Wilson, a noted peace and environmental activist from the US, award-winning author of Animal’s People Indra Sinha and an environmental activist from Chennai joined the Bhopalis in their indefinite fast.

International support for the campaign has been massive. Nearly 6000 faxes were sent by supporters to the Prime Minister’s office during the campaign. Meanwhile, NRI and other supporters kept the pressure up by demonstrating outside Indian embassies and calling key Indian politicians over phone. Sixteen US congresspersons, and more than 80 British Members of Parliaments added their voice in support of the Bhopalis’ demands, urging the Prime Minister to meet the demands and hold Dow Chemical accountable for the ongoing disaster in Bhopal.

Bhopal’s Gen Next has been at the core of the public actions targeting the Government. Bhopali children not only sent letters written in blood to the PM, but also chained themselves to the Prime Minister’s house and launched a campaign urging school children to send a heart to the Prime Minister. In July, 22 Bhopalis were arrested for protesting outside the Prime Minister’s Office and jailed in Tihar for more than 10 days.

The organisations thanked Mr. Paswan for his consistent support over the years, and expressed hope that the Minister will provide the necessary support for the Empowered Commission to begin functioning at the earliest.

Rashida Bee , Champa Devi Shukla – Bhopal Gas Pedit Mahila Statyionary Karamchari Sangh

Syed M Irfan – Bhopal Gas Pedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi – Bhopal Group of Informatioan and Action

For more information, contact Rachna Dhingra: 9717516003

Visit: www.bhopal.net,

Statement to be made by the Hon’ble Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Steel on 8th August, 2008 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi before the representatives of Bhopal Gas Victims.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to oversee the matters related to Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster, in its meeting held on 11th June, 2008, had taken certain important decisions. Based on these decisions, the following action has been/ is being taken by the Government.

(i)    Plan of Action for rehabilitation if Bhopal Gas Victims

The government of M.P. has submitted a Memorandum on the Plan of Action for the rehabilitation of the gas victims and their families, with estimates amounting to Rs. 982.75 crore. The Department of C&PC has forwarded the Action Plan to the Planning Commission for their comments and would thereafter be placed before the GoM, for further necessary action.

(ii)   Declaration of remaining 20 wards of Bhopal as ‘ gas affected’

The request of the Govt. of M.P. for declaring the remaining 20 wards of Bhopal as Gas affected was not agreed to by the GoM. However, the GoM decided that the Government of M.P. may take an appropriate decision to allow free treatment and availability of medicines to the people of the 20 unaffected wards, in the Government Hospitals, without prejudice to the benefits and entitlements of the recognized gas victims in 36 ‘gas affected’ wards.

(iii) Setting up of an Empowered Commission for rehabilitation of Bhopal Gas Victims:

The Gom decided that the Department of C&PC would prepare a Draft Proposal on the Terms of Reference , modalities, functions, powers, headquarters and other related requirements for setting up of the proposed Empowered Commission. A draft Resolution/ Executive Order, after approval of the Minister of C&F and S and the Chairman of the GoM, has been circulated to the Ministries/ Departments concerned of the Government of India and the Government of M.P., for comments/ views.

(iv)   Continuation of Medical Research by ICMR

The ICMR should resume the research work which was stopped in the year 1994 and give its recommendations for the right line of treatment for different medical problems faced by the gas victims and their families. the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been requested to take further necessary action.

(v) Application of the Deptt. of C&PC filed in the High Court of M.P. in W.P. No. 2802 of 2004 (Alok Pratap Singh vs Union of India & Others)

The Department of C&PC would not withdraw its application filed in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh requesting the Court to direct Respondents No. 4 to 6, in the P.I.L filed in W.P. No. 2802 of 2004, to deposit Rs. 100 crore as advance for environmental remediation of the former UCIL plant site at Bhopal. The outcome of the matter pending before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh may be awaited in this regard.

(vi)    Offer of Sh. Ratan Tata to set up Site Remediation Fund to clean UCIL Plant site

The offer of Shri Ratan Tata is not acceptable in its current form as it is a conditional offer to absolve Dow Chemicals Company from the liability for environmental remediation of the former UCIL plant site at Bhopal

(vii)   Extradition of Warren Anderson

The legal pursuit for the extradition of Warren Anderson may be expediated by the MEA with the US Authorities

(viii)  Cancellation of Registeration of Pesticides of Dow obtained by payment of bribes

The CBI has been directed to expediate its report on the investigations into the alleged payment of bribes to the officials of Ministry of Agriculture by Dow for obtaining the registration of four pesticides, including Dursban

(ix)   Environmental Remediation of the Former UCIL Plant site at Bhopal

The Government of India and the Government of M.P. may go ahead with the implimentation of the Roadmap for the environmental remediation of the former UCIL Plant site at Bhopal

(x) Review of approval of FTC between Reliance and Dow Global Technologies Inc.

As the representative of the concerned Ministry was not present for the meeting of the GoM, therefore, the views of the Minsitry were not available for the GoM to take a holistic view in the matter related to approval of FTC. The GoM deferred a decision on the issue.

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The World is Hungry for Justice in

Bhopal!
Global Day of fast: 28th June, 2008

Despite a 37 day Foot March from Bhopal, nearly three months of dharna in Delhi and 18 days of indefinite hunger strike Bhopal Survivors are still waiting for a response from the Prime Minister. As a mark of support to Bhopali’s and collective anguish against the continued apathy of PM, supporters worldwide call for June 28th to be the Global day of hunger fast.

Delhi Supporters: We request you to keep a solidarity fast tomorrow and join us at the Bhopal dharna site at Jantar Mantar.  Never mind if you can’t be physically present at the dharnasthal, keep the fast from wherever you are. But, do sign up at our website http://www.bhopal.net/2008hungerstrike.html

In case if you are not able to sign up at the website please send your contact details [including name, email id and phone number] to aid.selva@gmail.com/ Phone: 9818248459

Other Cities: Please see the details on the website (http://boston4bhopal.org/view_events.php) and register your details as participants. In case you don’t find your city in the list please add your details and the city name. Be the contact person for the city and circulate the message amongst friends and acquaintances.

Though most of the information, alerts and action material are already on the our website www.bhopal.net please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for any further information/assistance. And please do circulate this with your contacts and networks for greater participation.

For more information contact:

Shalini Sharma
9891442037
www.bhopal.net

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Join the Bhopalis and Unite for Justice!

Delhi raises its voice in Solidarity with the Bhopalis

June 14 , 4-7pm, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Day-long solidarity fast by JNU Students’ Union lead by JNUSU President, Mr. Sandeep.

Artists and bands to perform in Support of Bhopalis
They include: Rabbi Shergill, Susmit Bose, Abhay Sharma, Jigri group and others. If you sing/play music, come and join.

Nine Members Enter Their 3rd Day Of Indefinite Hunger Strike. Acclaimed writer Indra Sinha and Many Join Them Worldwide

112 Days on Road, 77 Days At The Dharna-sthal! PM Turns A Blind Eye To Justice. Police turn violent on protestors.

23 long years on the path to justice!

Despite 77 days of struggle, the Prime Minister is yet to meet the people of Bhopal and their demands . They have tried all possible means from silent peaceful protests to street theatre to demonstrations and even ‘chaining themselves up’, to try and convince the PM to meet them. Activists of Delhi have held their hands in support. Ministers, Members of Parliament and eminent people from the city have assured them of their support and promised them justice.

On 9 June, 33 people, women, children and men, who were staging a peaceful protest in front of the PMs Office were arrested. Rather than meet their demands promptly, the Government has ignored their march from Bhopal to Delhi, met their 2 month-long dharna with empty promises, and dealt with their non-violent protests with beatings and jailing. Pregnant women and three people on indefinite fast continue to be in jail. The attitude of the authorities clearly shows that they “want to teach the protestors a lesson.” It seems to be a coordinated effort to discourage democratic protest.

Since 10 June, nine activists, including gas survivors are on an indefinite hunger strike seeking justice. They demand: An Empowered Commission on Bhopal by endorsing the bill proposed by survivors organizations and committing to introducing it in the Parliament in the monsoon session; committing the funds required to allow the Commission to function for 30 years for medical, economic, social and environmental rehabilitation, and Immediate legal action against Dow Chemical and Union Carbide.

Supporters from different parts of the world, including Booker Prize nominated author Indra Sinha, are on a fast.

Prime Minister’s response to the struggle so far has been vague and tentative, without any genuine effort to meet the demands of an industrial disaster, 23 years old!

23 years of waiting, they refuse to be led on with false promises anymore.
Come and join, let us raise our voice in solidarity with the Bhopalis

What can we do?

Join them any time for one-day solidarity fast at Jantar Mantar or wherever you are. For more details and confirmation, please contact Shalini at 9891442037

Visit them as often as possible, be with them, and talk to them. Your presence will be great morale booster.

Raise funds for the protestors. Send your donation by cheque / draft favouring ‘The Other Media’, with ‘Bhopal project’ written on the envelope and by Cash to Bipin 9868280198.

Background: 23 years after the 1984 Union Carbide Industrial Disaster in Bhopal, justice still eludes the Bhopalis.

On 3rd December 1984 the Union Carbide Subsidiary plant at Bhopal, released 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) and other toxic gases into the night air of the city. This resulted in the death of over 23,000 people. 5, 72,000 suffer ill effects of the toxic gas till date, 120,000 more suffer from chronic ailments. Children are being born with cerebral palsy and congenital ailments. 10 to 15 of the gas affected people die every month! The gas leak also has caused a permanent damage to the environment. The ground water is heavily contaminated, causing respiratory, skin, eye and abdominal morbidity.

The Government of India (GOI) has through the years tried following the ‘piecemeal’ justice principle. The GOI had promised a commission to evaluate the damages caused and decide on the provisions of justice in 2006. Till date there has been no systematic sustainable medical, economic, environmental or social relief provisions made for them. No criminal and civil liabilities too have been unresolved. The prime accused Union Carbide Corporation of USA and Dow Chemical is still scott free!

77 days later, non-responsive government, depleting resources… the protestors need our support!!

We would earnestly request you to join the Bhopalis at Jantar Mantar
Saturday, the 14th of June, 2008
Come, fight for justice.


In solidarity,
Delhi Solidarity Group

For further queries
Madhuresh (09818905316)
Vijayan (9868165471)
Joe (9868114470)
Anupriya (9313848225)
Benny (9873921191)
Aanchal (9810197917)

Please visit www.bhopal.net for more details on the padyatra and their every day struggles or else call Shalini 9891442037

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Government efforts to bail out Dow of Bhopal liability Illegal; say former judges and legal professionals

Invitation for the Press Conference

To,

The Editor/Chief Photographer/Chief Reporter

New Delhi

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Date: 21st April 2008, 4: 00PM

Venue: Press Club of India

Speakers: Advocate Prashant Bhushan, Legal Researcher Usha Ramnathan, and Senior Journalist Kuldip Nayar

Background:

Dow has asked Government of India to withdraw its name from the application filed in High Court, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Unless the application is withdrawn its Board of Governors will not allow investment in the Country. In response GOI is meekly trying to bail Dow out of the legal liability for Bhopal. Such a move would be illegal. The case made by more than 270 legal professional including retired judges.

For more information, contact: Shalini Sharma: 9891442037

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

www.bhopal.net

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Major Fire at Ankleshwar Waste Facility

Destined to Receive Bhopal Wastes

What: Press conference on findings of a delegation that

enquired into a major fire incident at Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Ltd’s (BEIL) toxic waste storage, disposal facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. BEIL was to receive toxic wastes from Bhopal despite intense opposition by Bhopalis and Ankleshwar residents on grounds that the facility was not safe, and technologically sound.

When: 12 noon, 8 April, 2007

Where: Bhopal dharna sthal. Jantar Mantar

Who: Rohit Prajapati, a Gujarat-based activist with Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, who was part of a fact-finding delegation to Ankleshwar, Gujarat

Background:

On 3 April, a massive fire consumed about 120 tons of toxic wastes stored behind the incinerator in Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Ltd’s waste treatment, storage and disposal facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, leading to intense distress due to pollution in three surrounding villages. The fire has exposed that 23 years after the Bhopal disaster, no lessons have been learnt regarding siting of hazardous facilities, sharing of relevant information with communities, and responding to disasters. As per a Madhya Pradesh High Court order, this facility was to have received Union Carbide’s toxic wastes from Bhopal for incineration. However, giving in to safety concerns and concerns regarding the facility’s ability to burn wastes safely, the Gujarat Government refused permission for the Bhopal wastes to be received here. Bhopal survivors and Gujarat-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti.

For more information, contact:

Nityanand Jayaraman: 9717516003 or 09444082401

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. B5/136, FF, Safdarjung Encl., New Delhi 110 039. www.bhopal.net

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