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Bhopal gas tragedy: 30 years later, survivors cry for justice, seek more compensation

On December 3, 1984, 40 tonnes of toxic MIC leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, killing around 25,000 people and more than 5,00,000 have been left injured.

Nitesh Raikwar | IBNLive.com@nitesh_raikwar

Updated:November 14, 2014, 8:01 AM IST
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Bhopal gas tragedy: 30 years later, survivors cry for justice, seek more compensation
On December 3, 1984, 40 tonnes of toxic MIC leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, killing around 25,000 people and more than 5,00,000 have been left injured.

New Delhi: Hundreds of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak tragedy are at Delhi's Jantar Mantar demanding justice and additional compensation. Survivors which include mostly women and children are sitting on protest since November 9 saying they will remain at Jantar Mantar till the Narendra Modi government gives them a final date for a raised compensation.

Among the protestors, five women survivors of the Union Carbide disaster - Premlata Chaudhary, Shezadi Bee, Vishnu Panthi, Kasturi Bai, and Kamla Bai Airhwar - are sitting on indefinite hunger strike from November 11.

Thirty years on, the survivors of the disaster are still crying for justice for their love ones whom they lost in the tragedy. They are also blaming the Madhya Pradesh government for inadequate compensation.

Speaking to IBNLive, one of the survivors, Raj Kumar said, "The government at the Centre had already passed compensation but the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government did not distribute it equally."

Survivors also say that in these 30 years there have been different governments at the Centre as well as in the state but all have treated them the same.

Chironi Bai, who lost her husband eight years ago in the disaster, said, "I get only Rs 200 per month as compensation. I have five children and it very difficult for me to run home. I don't get even widow pension. I urge the government to give compensation as soon as possible."

She also said that she has lungs problem but she is unable to get sufficient medical aid as well. "Whenever, I go to the government hospital near my home, they usually refuse to admit me as well as other patient who are suffering from any disease other than eye or heart and refer us to the Nehru Hospital," she said.

Another survivor Sarada Bai also targeted the state government for not providing better medical facilities in the city. "I have an 18-year-old son who is suffering from eye illness but due to lack of medical facilities in the city, we have to go to other states for the treatment with our own money," she said. "Private hospitals also do not treat us properly and usually demand heavy amount for the treatment," she added.

Survivors also hit out at the Modi government for the Food Distribution System in the state. They say, "We used to get 30 to 40 kgs of wheat as ration but now we only get 4 to 5 kgs of ration ever since the BJP government came to power."

A survivor from the area near the plant where the incident took place claims the deadly Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas still remains there. Suresh Singh said, "I was just 3-year-old when this tragedy happened but when you visit at the same place you will find gas still leaking from the plant and polluting the water with poison. If an animal drinks that water it dies."

On December 3, 1984, 40 tonnes of toxic MIC leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, killing around 25,000 people and more than 5,00,000 have been left injured. But the Madhya Pradesh government has confirmed the death of only 3,787 people.

Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the tragedy, survivors said that they will continue to protest until Prime Minister Modi visits them and they get justice.

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