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34 years after Bhopal leak, survivors continue fight

United voice: Survivors of the 1984 gas disaster at a rally in Bhopal on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: A_M_Faruqui

Thirty-four years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, survivors continue to demand proper rehabilitation, adequate compensation and proper medical treatment for ailments caused by the toxic leak.

‘Worst disaster’

In what is termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, over 15,000 people were killed after methyl isocyanate leaked on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in the city.

More than 5 lakh people were affected due to the toxic leak.

Various organisations fighting for gas leak survivors have been seeking proper medical care, adequate compensation, and cleaning of the groundwater and soil.

Survivors’ bodies, including the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Children Against Dow Carbide, and the Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA), issued a joint statement on Sunday, accusing the Madhya Pradesh and Central governments of neglecting the victims.

Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, “Recent scientific studies show that deaths and diseases attributable to exposure to Union Carbide’s gases continue to occur in Bhopal. Yet, over 80% of the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee for medical rehabilitation of victims remain to be implemented.”

President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh Rashida Bee said, “Since 2004...the contamination has spread to 42 settlements around the factory with a population of over 1,00,000. But, the governments at the State and the Centre have done nothing.”

Not enough

While claiming that about 20,000 persons died due to the gas tragedy, convener of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghathan, Abdul Jabbar said, “The pittance which was disbursed as compensation in most instances was never enough to take care of their daily needs.”

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 3:43:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/34-years-after-bhopal-leak-survivors-continue-fight/article25649387.ece

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