Friday, March 03, 2006

22 years and no justice.

22 years after one of the worste industrial disasters in history, 150 survivors of the leak of toxic gas by Union Carbide at Bhopal are beginning a 800 km walk to bring attention to their plight. While Union Carbide's new owner, Dow Chemical, continues to make profits in India, the survivors of Bhopal have to beg for medical services. The marchers make the following demands:

1. National Commission on Bhopal: Set up National Commission on Bhopal with the necessary authority and funds to provide facilities for health care, medical research, social support and economic rehabilitation of survivors and their children for at least next 30 years. This commission must have active participation of non-government doctors, scientists and representatives of survivor's organizations.
2. Provide Safe Drinking Water: Commit funds for and agree to time-bound plan for delivery of piped Kolar water to communities affected by Union Carbide's contamination.
3. Prosecute Union Carbide and Anderson: Set up a Special Prosecution Cell in the Central Bureau of Investigation with representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs for speedy prosecution of Union Carbide Corporation, Warren Anderson and other accused in the criminal case of the December '84 disaster.
4. Make Dow Clean Up and Pay: Ensure scientific assessment of depth and spread of contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory and make Union Carbide's current owner The Dow Chemical Company pay for clean up of contamination and compensation for related health and environmental damages.
5. Blacklist Dow and Union Carbide: Stop government purchase of Dursban and other Dow products and halt any expansion of Dow's business in India till it accepts the pending liabilities of Bhopal.
6. Remember Bhopal: Include representatives of survivors organizations in the creation of a memorial to the disaster; declare December 3 rd as a National Day of Mourning for Victims of Industrial Disasters and Pollution and ensure that the Bhopal disaster and its aftermath are included school and college curricula.

Please sign a petition to support their demands.