A local press cutting from December 3rd 2011.
After months of preparations for the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, the work was finally complete! Dozens of posters, hundreds of slogans, banners, songs, preparation of a mobile exhibition van, media representatives informed, press releases prepared and much more.
All the staff members have worked very hard and given as much of their time as possible, far more than their official working hours for many of them.
Then the day came. Shouting slogans with sore throats through microphones, waving banners, posters, quotes written on heads and hands, people of all ages- groups of children to the elderly, police all-around and camera men zooming in with their cameras. This is a common scene in Bhopal on the rally of 27th anniversary of the world’s worst industrial disaster. The rally started with an opening song “we will fight for justice, there are so many whips of diseases on gas victims.”
We gathered under the Bharat talkies bridge around 11 am in the morning and started moving from there about 12 pm towards the abandoned Union Carbide Factory. The distance we covered wasn’t far, about 3 kilometers, but 27 years is a long way for many of the victims. Many survivors cease to be involved in such rallies, and many have died over the years, but a core group, tired and weary, but most of all determined, continue in their battle.
A fight for justice, a race to demolish DOW and Warren Anderson, a struggle for compensation, better treatment, rehabilitation and a safe future. Many children (from the Chingari Rehabilitation Center) who are third generation gas victims also join us, many in their wheelchairs. They give us strength.
“Break the bloody nails of Anderson, the government fears from us that’s why they put police in froth of us,” “We are women of Bhopal we are not blossoms we are sparks,” “Down with London Olympics” and “We want justice” are the numberous of slogans chanted with which we raise our fists in the air.
Press Cuttings showing the Effigies.
About 3 pm in the afternoon we reached the Union Carbide factory. There we made a circle and burned effigies of Lord Coe, the chairman of the London organizing committee (LOCOG) and Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the head of India’s Olympic organizing committee. We hope this will open the eyes of Olympic organizing committees.
By Nagendra Chaturvedi