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Assist Bhopal says Megan Dogra

Sep 8 2014 by

Megan 72 484x321 Assist Bhopal says Megan Dogra bhopal medical appealA young student, from the US, recently visited the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre. She has been deeply moved by her experience and inspired to get involved. Please visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AssistBhopal Here is Megan’s story in her own words:   My name is Megan Dogra and I am a 10th grade student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As you may recall, the Bhopal gas leak was one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. On the morning of December 3, 1984, more than 40 tons of methyl isocyante (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide India Limited plant, creating a dense cloud over a resident population of about 500,000 people. That night about 8000 people died due to the toxic gas inhalation and over time there were another 20,000 fatalities related to this disaster. The crisis isn’t over yet; today an estimated 200,000 people suffer from chronic illnesses as a result of this accident. The children being born to the victims of the gas disaster have an increased risk of congenital birth defects, physical malformations and mental disabilities. The toxic waste from the abandoned Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) still lies in the “Solar Evaporation Ponds” and continues to contaminate the ground water. The people who live in these communities are poor, illiterate and helpless. During my recent trip to Bhopal in March 2014, I had the opportunity to meet with some of the survivors of this horrific incident and hear the heart wrenching stories of their continued pain and suffering. I has been a very moving, a very life changing experience for me. I have produced a documentary Assist Bhopal, which has been selected to screen at the Milwaukee Film Festival 2014. This documentary is a window for the world to see the ongoing disaster in Bhopal. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/AssistBhopal I am doing fundraisers to help the second and third generation victims of the Bhopal gas leak. I am raising funds to help sustain a nutrition program, which provides these children with an afternoon meal at Chingari Rehabilitation Center, Bhopal, India. DSC2291 484x321 Assist Bhopal says Megan Dogra bhopal medical appeal

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Chingari celebrates Eid and Rakshabandhan

Aug 14 2014 by

Children at the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre in Bhopal celebrated Rakshabandhan and Eid last week, with members of their families and  staff at the clinic.

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Children celebrating Raksha Bandhan and Eid with their families and friends

Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu Festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters; the festival is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister like protective relationship between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated. Celebrations started with a small speech by Shankar, Shadab and Vidya (Community health workers) explaining the messages and significance of Raksha Bandhan and Eid to the children. This was followed by a small inspiring speech from Apa and Didi (Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla).

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Girls at Chingari tie Rakhi’s to boys wrists to symbolize their love and prayers

 

The girls at Chingari then tied Rakhi’s (sacred threads) onto the hands of boys, symbolizing a sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. Afterwards children and mothers hugged each other and greeted Eid. An open house dance followed where the children danced to some of their latest, favorite Bollywood songs.

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Children at Chingari dancing and celebrating Raksha Bandhan and Eid

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Mat & Dom’s Robin Hood Marathon 2014

Aug 14 2014 by

Mat and Dom from Lewes Athletic Club are running the Robin Hood Marathon at Nottingham on 28th September. They’re both raising money for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, having previously ran for the BMA in the Brighton Marathon for the last 3 years.

Mat and Dom Robin Hood Marathon Mat & Doms Robin Hood Marathon 2014 bhopal medical appeal

Mat and Dom

Why Nottingham? Well, in February of this year, half way into training for his 5th consecutive Brighton Marathon, Mat was falsely diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome (Sudden Death Syndrome) and was told he could never run again. 2 months later he was given the all clear, but he had missed the Brighton Marathon. Knowing he was desperate to run a marathon this year, Dom said he would join him in an Autumn marathon. For Mat and Dom the Robin Hood Marathon looked like such a great race, so both signed up.

Mat and Dom Brighton Marathon 2010 Mat & Doms Robin Hood Marathon 2014 bhopal medical appeal

Mat and Dom running in the 2010 Brighton Mararthon

RH Marathon Mat & Doms Robin Hood Marathon 2014 bhopal medical appealEveryone at the Bhopal Medical Appeal is hugely relieved for Mat and wishes the best of luck to him and Dom with their training. Hopefully we’ll see them back running in the Brighton Marathon some time soon.

If you would like to sponsor Mat and Dom you can do on their JustGiving page here.

If you are interested in running for charity and would like to help raise money for the Bhopal Medical Appeal please get in contact with us here or call us at 01273 603278. We currently have places in the 2015 Brighton Half Marathon, 2015 Brighton Marathon and the 2015 British London 10km.

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UCC Ownership- Briefing Paper

Aug 4 2014 by

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Dow Chemical Company’s Ownership of Union Carbide Corporation

The Dow Chemical Company continues to maintain, at the heart of its defence, that it is not responsible for the acts of its wholly owned subsidiary the Union Carbide Corporation.

Dow states that it is an entirely separate corporate entity to Union Carbide but that is not, of itself, a sufficient statement of law to divorce it from UCC’s legal liabilities. It is not possible to say, given that information, that “there is no justification for a claim being brought against Dow”.

A parent company may be held liable for the debts of its subsidiary in circumstances which vary between legal systems. But Dow has the legal power to control, and therefore the legal responsibility for, UCC’s current behaviour with regards to Bhopal.

 

This is because:

  • UCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow. UCC’s board of directors is appointed by Dow and Dow can, through its shareholding, exercise actual control over UCC. If Dow wishes UCC to take, or refrain from taking, any steps with regard to its business, Dow can in practice require UCC to take those steps.
  •  Dow’s relationship with UCC is much closer than a simple parent/subsidiary relationship: Dow manages all major aspects of UCC’s business: legal, accountancy, treasury, procurement, human resources, environmental, health and safety, management, etc. For all material purposes Dow runs UCC. This means that not only is Dow able to control UCC indirectly through its share ownership as a parent, it is able to control UCC directly because it manages all its business, including crucially its legal affairs. As a consequence, Dow cannot say that it is not responsible for UCC’s current behaviour when that behaviour is controlled, directly and indirectly, by Dow itself.
  • Dow elects every director to UCC’s board and the current Union Carbide CEO is a senior DOW management official.
  • Dow’s and UCC’s operations are so intertwined that it is difficult to separate the two. UCC’s submissions to the US Securities and Exchange Commission present its business as a “component” of Dow’s business. UCC’s business is fully integrated with Dow’s. In addition, UCC sells substantially all its products to Dow (and Dow sells UCC’s products under Dow’s name). This means that a distinction between the two companies exists only in terms of formal “corporate personality”. In commercial and reporting terms the two companies are one.
  • UCC’s behaviour actually benefits Dow in so far as not paying a debt enhances a subsidiary’s ability to pay dividends to its parent. Importantly, Dow has almost certainly procured that conduct (denying Bhopal liabilities) since it is responsible for legal and accountancy services for UCC. UCC has paid dividends to Dow since completion of the acquisition in 2001. From 2009-2011 these dividends amounted to $2200m. Dow has made the choice not to require these funds to be used to compensate Bhopal survivors or decontaminate the affected area.
  • Dow is wholly responsible for the current conduct of UCC, and for how UCC chooses to deal with the “issues outstanding in Bhopal, particularly in relation to the remediation of the site”. It follows that Dow is necessarily responsible for UCC’s refusal to give further compensation to the victims of the Bhopal disaster, and its refusal to pay for the environmental clean-up of the Bhopal site. To state that “these outstanding issues are not the responsibility of the Dow Chemical Company” is therefore incorrect.
  • Dow distances itself from UCC implying that it does not have a relationship with UCC but Dow provides UCC products and dealing with Dow is no guarantee that products supplied are not UCC products. Given the total convergence of Dow’s and UCC’s business, stockholders and management, there is no substantive difference between dealing with UCC and dealing with Dow. For all material purposes, including those relating to ethics and corporate responsibility, any suggested dichotomy between Dow and UCC is a false one.
  • If UCC refuses to compensate victims of the Bhopal disaster, pay for the environmental clean-up, or submit to the jurisdiction of the Indian Court in criminal proceedings, those are all decisions for which Dow has direct management control and therefore responsibility (further to point 2 above).
  • Dow is no less responsible for UCC’s conduct with regards to Bhopal than any other supplier would be with regards to a fully owned subsidiary found to be abusing human rights. For example, if UCC was found to be employing slave labour, then Dow, the supplier, as parent would rightly be held “responsible” for the acts of its subsidiary.

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Garden Sale for Bhopal raises over £800!

Jul 30 2014 by

A long serving supporter of the Bhopal Medical Appeal held a Table-top Garden sale at her home in Stroud on the 19th and 20th of July to help raise money for the clinics in Bhopal. Olivia Dell, who has been involved with the Bhopal Medical Appeal as a generous supporter and friend for many years, has previously held pop up shop sales and workshops. Olivia also sells peg dolls from her own world textiles and folk art business with the proceeds of the peg dolls going to the BMA.

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Despite the rain on Saturday, many still made it to the sale, with Olivia stating that ‘All money’s raised were given with a kindness of spirit – often in excess of the prices’. People also donated items for her to sell including antiques, books, vintage clothing and jewelry, and with the success of this event Olivia has said that another sale might be on the cards, potentially in Stroud town centre.

The Bhopal Medical Appeal would like to say a big thank you to Olivia and all those who helped and turned up to her event. A grand total of £840 was raised, this money will help to provide health care and change the life of someone who really needs it.

If you are interested in holding an event for the Bhopal Medical Appeal this year, whether its a garden sale like Olivia’s, a curry evening with your friends or a bake sale in your community, please contact us here or on 01273 603278 and let us know. We would love to help and can provide posters, flyers, banners and help with publicising your event.

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Thanks for having us!

Jul 18 2014 by

In February this year representatives from the Bhopal Medical Appeal came to our school and gave a very interesting presentation about the Bhopal disaster. They also offered two places to work at the Bhopal Medical Appeal office in Brighton during our school’s work experience week.  Having been inspired by the work they do – raising money for the Sambhavna and Chingari clinics in Bhopal – we decided we’d like to spend our work experience week with them.

Today is our last day at The Bhopal Medical Appeal office and we’ve had a great week. One of the projects we were working on was extending a school outreach scheme by writing to various teachers from schools in the Sussex area to offer the school the same presentation we were given earlier this year. During this project we used and learnt many new and different skills including collecting information for a database, letter writing and graphic design.

In the last week we have also written several articles for this website, designed a promotion leaflet and of course done some good old fashioned filing!

We’ve both had a great time and think that we will be taking away lots of new skills that will be useful for working in a professional environment in the future. The week has also helped us shape our ideas for what we might like to do as a career after leaving school.

We would like to thank everyone at The Bhopal Medical Appeal for making the week enjoyable and educational and we think that anyone coming here for their work experience next year is incredibly lucky to have such a good placement!

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Last day of work experience

 

Megan and Tristan

Year 10 Dorothy Stringer Students

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The Bhopal Medical Appeal at the Backwell Festival

Jul 17 2014 by

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At the Backwell Festival

Last Saturday (July 12th) the Backwell festival took place and we were proud to be there as the international charity for the festival. Around 500 people turned up and the day was a lovely family event that was increadbly well organised. The organisers and the crowd  very friendly and we felt honoured to be part of the festival this year.

There were two main stages at the event hosting some great local musicians. The highlight of this year’s festival included the fantastic Celestine, and a headline act – who bought the festival to a rocking high – Doreen Doreen. The organisers of the event really made us welcome and it was great to have been given a platform on one of the stages for one of the charity’s representatives, Tim Edwards, to give a talk about the Appeal.

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Celestine, one of the leading events at the Backwell Festival

 

 

 

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