16 Campaign for justice and dignity

From Sathyu’s Introduction to Bhopal for Young People

The people poisoned by Union Carbide and Dow Chemical have fought and continue to fight a tough battle to regain their dignity and get justice. Their dignity was taken away by their being sick and unable to work and be forced to drink contaminated water. Justice has so far been denied to them as none of the corporate bosses whose negligence caused the disaster have been punished, and the corporations are still refusing to clean up the poisonous waste or pay for the care of children born with disabilities due to the contaminated water. The Bhopalis believe that if Union Carbide Corporation and its bosses go unpunished after the massacre in Bhopal it will encourage other corporations to be negligent about safety.

The poisoned people of Bhopal have fought relentlessly for the last 26 years. They have gone on fasts for as long as 22 days, walked thrice from Bhopal to New Delhi (a distance of about 500 miles), gone to jail and have been arrested and beaten for taking part in demonstrations against the corporations and the government. In 2008 they held a five-month long agitation (that included children chaining themselves to the fence of the house of the Indian Prime Minister) and the government agreed to set up an Empowered Commission for longterm medical care and rehabilitation and to make Dow Chemical pay for the clean up in Bhopal – this has not happened yet. Also, the Bhopal people and their supporters have stopped Dow Chemical from starting any of their poisonous activities in India. Our organisation, the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, is part of this struggle and we help the Bhopal survivors organisations in fighting court battles, speaking to the media and gathering support from people elsewhere in India and abroad.

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We believe Dow & DuPont must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.