In remembrance of the Bhopal gas genocide, Navdanya along with other civil society organisations is organising a People’s Assembly against Dow/DuPont, on November 29th 2016. This will be an assessment of Dow/DuPont’s crimes in terms of having committed genocide and ecocide against the people of Bhopal.
This is the 32nd anniversary of the struggle for Bhopal, and together we are calling for ” No More Bhopal” by presenting an alternative: a poison-free organic India.
The Bhopal gas genocide of December 3, 1984, in which at least 2,300 to 10,000 people died overnight and between 200,000 to 500,000 were injured, is the worst industrial disaster in the history of the world. Even today, tens of thousands are dying a slow death due to exposure to the toxic Methly isocyanate (MIC). MIC was used to create a highly noxious pesticide, called ‘Sevin’, which was manufactured by a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide Company(UCC).
But the poisoning of the Bhopal did not end on 3rd December 1984, toxic chemicals continued to leak from the solar evaporation ponds. They contaminated the water bodies and surrounding areas near the UCC factory. People living in those areas are still exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, etc. In fact a recent survey found out that 19 out of 20 women living in affected areas still have mercury in their breastmilk. Even after 32 years, people have little access to poison-free, clean water. Children continue to be born deformed and with teratogenic effects.
The Chingari Trust, which has been working closely with the disabled children, has about 800 children with disabilities enrolled, yet thousands more are left out as there are no rehabilitatation facilties for them.
The current situation is grim for survivors as the government hospitals that were set up to treat the victims are now defunct. Due to lack of resources and doctors, the victims and their families have to go to private clinics and hospitals.
Furthermore, the government of India still has not managed to get just compensation for survivors. There are many cases being fought against Dow by the people of Bhopal, demanding justice for their losses and demanding to make the company liable for crimes against the people of Bhopal and to make sure no corporation in the world can get away with such heinous crimes.