Bhopal: Organizations representing survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy on Friday accused both the Centre and Madhya Pradesh government of ‘neglecting’ the 33rd anniversary of the event by organising a half marathon on December 3.
They claimed that while the old city would be mourning the disaster, state government would be busy organizing ‘Run Bhopal Run’ with all fun and frolic on the same day.
Leaders of five organisations of the survivors condemned both governments for deliberate neglect of the victims and collusion with the US corporations responsible for the disaster.
They also charged the central government of violating of the survivors’ constitutional rights to proper health care.
“While all of old Bhopal will be mourning the death of their loved ones, the state government is supporting a spectacle with DJ music and jumba dance in new Bhopal. This shows the abysmal depths of inhumanity in the powers that be.” said Rashida Bee, Goldman Environmental Awardee and president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
She appealed to the participants of ‘Run Bhopal Run’ to withdraw their registration in solidarity with the Bhopal victims. Organised by volunteer organization Bhopal Runners, the half marathon aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle is supported by the state government.
“The state government has reneged on its promises of ensuring a minimum of Rs.5 lakh compensation for the victims and providing lifelong pension to the widows of the disaster. 94% of the victims have got only Rs. 25,000 compensation for lifelong injuries and thousands of widows remain without pension support for more than a year,” Balkrishna Namdeo, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha, said.
Nawab Khan, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is directly under the Prime Minister has failed to make Dow Chemical, owner of absconding Union Carbide, appear in the Bhopal court in the last three years.”
Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the five organisations will be jointly organising a torchlight procession on December 2 and a march to the abandoned Union Carbide factory on December 3.
“The world will be watching us on December 3 and we will tell them how we have been betrayed by our own elected governments who kowtow before the US,” he said.