Whilst still wishing to take part in the games, the Indian Olympians plan to boycott the opening and closing ceremonies over the sponsorship, which is believed to contradict the Olympic charter which pledges to “encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes.”
“It’s small but it shows they [the athletes] are making some effort” said Farah Edwards, a survivor of the gas leaks who was10 years old at the time of the disaster.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have failed in attempts to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to drop Dow as an Olympic sponsor. Nest the Indian government then approached the IOC to end the sponsorship deal.
Writing directly to Jacques Rogge, the current president of the IOC, the sports ministry have strongly questioned Dow’s place as an Olympic sponsor, and asked for their removal from the London Games. Union Carbide, the company who are responsible for the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy, is a current subsidiary of Dow Chemical.
The athletes further their criticism of the IOC’s failure to adhere to the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics with concerns that focus on multiple health violations of which Dow are responsible.
The letter reads: “either the IOC declares the Code of Ethics and Olympic Charter void for everyone, or it decides to apply it to all participants, including sponsors. Having double standards is not what the Olympics is about, or so we would hope.”
Please support The Bhopal Medical Appeal by staying in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also join us on YouTube and Flickr and if you want to support the work of our clinics you can visit our Donate page. Thanks!