Keval’s thoughts on Bhopal from Glastonbury

An interview with Keval Bharadia, visitor to the Bhopali Sculpture Garden in the Leftfield at Glastonbury last weekend.

Keval Bharadia, working for the Environmental Justice Foundation at Glastonbury 2011

What are you doing here at Glastonbury?

“I am working in a bar to raise money for the Environmental Justice Foundation, a Human Rights Organisation who support people affected by environmental damage around the world.”

Obviously, you have some knowledge then, about environmental contamination globally, were you aware of the situation in Bhopal prior to today?

“Yes, I was aware of the situation in Bhopal and it is horrific on many levels. Horrific in the damages sustained to human life. Horrific in terms of response of government and commercial companies. Given that so much time has passed, the impact of the ongoing disaster is incomprehensible and unforgiveable.”

As a British Indian, do you feel any more of a connection to the situation in Bhopal, than in other parts of the world?

“The fact that it happened in India is not the issue, the problem is that it affects poor people whose human rights are not recognised. Take Fukishima (the nuclear reactor in Japan that was severely damaged by the tsunami earlier this year) it happened in a developed country and as a result changes to some country’s nuclear power plans have been made i.e. Germany. What happened in India happened because there was no accountability and it happened in a country that has so far been unable or unwilling to challenge the power of multinational companies.”

What message would you like to give to Dow Chemical?

“Go and visit the affected families so that you can see for yourselves exactly what you are responsible for. I would like to say that if it wasn’t for the existence of the Union Carbide factory the situation in Bhopal would not have a occurred and any company who has made commercial gains from Union Carbide should be held accountable. Dow Chemical should admit responsibility, and by this admission should implement and pay for all processes required for clean up recommended by independent organisations.”

As someone with little prior knowledge of the BMA, what do you think we are achieving with our presence here at Glastonbury?

The Bhopal Medical Appeal are continuing to raise awareness with people who may not have known about Bhopal, but are also informing people who were aware of the initial gas leak that there is a huge ongoing problem with water contamination.”

Do you like our sculpture garden?

“I love your sculpture garden. It is the  most eye-catching area in the whole of Glastonbury”

Our eye-catching sculpture garden made from recycled materials

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We believe Dow 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.