Syed M. Irfan 1949-2011 – a survivor and a fighter

18th February 2011 – latest from survivors in Bhopal

Photo © 2006 Daniel Gosling

Syed M. Irfan, President of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahil Purush Sangharsh Morcha, died today at 3pm at his home after a long illness. He was 62 years old. A survivor of the disaster himself, the late Mr Irfan was an active campaigner for justice in the case of Union Carbide in Bhopal. Despite being severely exposed to the toxic gas he led many demonstrations of the survivors in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and stayed active till his last days.

In 2006, despite frail health he marched from Bhopal to Delhi seeking medical care and rehabilitation for the people poisoned by Union Carbide. Following Dow’s take over of Union Carbide in 2001, he devoted himself to mobilising public opinion on the issue of toxic contamination in and around the Union Carbide factory.

He travelled to several places within India including Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Plachimada (Kerala), Raipur and other places to raise awareness on Bhopal and in solidarity with other people’s movements in the country.

He was a part of the joint front of four survivors’ organisations since 2004 and was a member of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

He leaves behind his wife and two sons. We, his fellow campaigners mourn Irfan Bhai’s death and resolve to continue with the struggle with which he was associated for the larger part of his life.

  • Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh: 94256 88215
  • Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha: 98263 45423
  • Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information & Action: 98261 67369
  • Safreen Khan, Children against Dow / Carbide: 93038 31487

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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.