The Bhopal Marathon: Justice at 30

Bhopal survivors demands, The Bhopal Marathon is an ordeal of pain- but measured in miles not years.

The Bhopal Marathon is an ordeal of pain- but measured in miles not years. For more than twenty eight years some of the poorest people on earth, sick, living on the edge of hunger, without funds, wealthy friends or political influence have been fighting for their lives and their fundamental human rights against a multinational giant backed by the governments and economic elites of two powerful nations.

As we head into 2013 and, eventually, on to the 29th and the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster we, the Bhopal Medical Appeal, along with the survivor’s groups on the ground in Bhopal will be pursuing a campaign seeking justice before the 30th anniversary.

The survivor’s groups have agreed a set of demands which they see as an appropriate settlement of the disaster. We will be helping the survivor’s groups to push for this settlement and you can see the full set of demands, in their own words, below this message.

We hope that the success we had, in 2012, raising awareness of the ongoing disaster situation in Bhopal, thanks to Dow’s disastrous London Olympic sponsorship, will help the survivors to finally see the justice they deserve.

We will be pursuing every angle we can and, to start things off, we will be giving our social media networks a bit of a boost. We’ll be kicking that off by serialising the content of the ‘Bhopal Marathon’ into easily digestible web-friendly installments. We hope that, that you’ll take this opportunity to help us spread some of the powerful content of this very important work.

DEMANDS OF THE BHOPAL SURVIVOR GROUPS FOR JUSTICE BEFORE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BHOPAL DISASTER

Corporations and Governments in USA and India Must Ensure Justice and a Life of Dignity for the Bhopal Survivors And Their Children Well Before the Fourth Decade Begins.
25,000 dead and counting. 150,000 battling chronic illnesses. Tens of thousands poisoned. Tens of thousands of children with growth and developmental disorders, birth defects. Today.

Two Years for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical to Ensure that they:
1. Cease to abscond from justice and answer, through its designated official, charges of manslaughter and grievous assault in the criminal case pending before the Bhopal District Court.
2. Respond positively to the Government of India’s Petition in the Supreme Court of India and make financial arrangements for compensating actual number of deaths and injuries caused as a result of the December 1984 gas disaster.
3. Set aside sufficient funds for clean up of contaminated soil and ground water in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory and for health monitoring of the affected population.

Two Years for the Government of USA to Ensure that:
1. Authorized representatives of Union Carbide Corporation cease to abscond justice in Indian courts and appear in the pending criminal case arising from the disaster in Bhopal.
2. Warren Anderson former Chairman of Union Carbide is extradited from USA to answer charges of manslaughter and grievous assault in the Bhopal District Court.
3. Dow Chemical and Union Carbide pay penalties for the deaths and injuries caused by the 1984 gas disaster at rates comparable to those paid by British Petroleum for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
4. Dow Chemical and Union Carbide clean up the contaminated soil and ground water in and around the abandoned pesticide factory and provide for health monitoring of the affected population.

Two Years for the Government of India to Ensure that:
1. Dow Chemical is not allowed to make any investments in this country directly or indirectly till it accepts Union Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal.
2. The prosecution agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) brings Union Carbide Corporation and Warren Anderson before the Bhopal District Court in the pending criminal case.3. The CBI through a Special Prosecution Cell does its best to send Keshub Mahindra and other Indian accused to jail for at least 10 years.
4. The Bhopal Memorial Hospital has full facilities for treatment of all diseases known to be associated with exposure to Union Carbide’s poisons.
5. The National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) provides treatment protocols specific to exposure related health problems and carries out medical research that benefits the gas victims and those exposed to contaminated ground water.
6. The petition before the Supreme Court of India for additional compensation from Dow Chemical/Union Carbide is based on correct figures of deaths and injuries and best efforts are made for its adjudication in favour of the Bhopal victims.
7. It intervenes in the US Federal Court in support of the Bhopal plaintiffs seeking clean up of the contaminated land in and around the abandoned factory.
8. A comprehensive scientific assessment of the nature, depth and spread of contamination is carried out by a competent agency for clean up and assessment of liability.
9. Epidemiological studies are carried out particularly to document the health impact of chronic exposure to contaminated ground water and children with congenital malformations born to gas and contaminated water exposed parents.

Two Years for the Government of Madhya Pradesh to Ensure that:
1. All hospitals run by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department are adequately staffed, stock quality medicines, are fully computerised and use standardized treatment protocols.
2. Every person known to be injured by the disaster and / or exposed to contaminated ground water receives a health book that ensures free health care at government run hospitals.
3. Every person known to be disabled or turned destitute as a result of the disaster receives a monthly pension of at least Rs. 1000/- as social support.
4. All residents of the communities affected by ground water contamination are provided clean piped water.
5. All children of gas and contaminated water exposed parents with congenital disabilities

You can read the complete Bhopal Marathon publication online here

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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.