Midnight 2-3 December, 1984. Over 40 tonnes of highly poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked out of the pesticide factory of Union Carbide in Bhopal. Thousands died in the immediate aftermath. At least 10,000 have died in the years that have passed, and 10 more are dying every month due to exposure-related diseases.

The hundreds of thousands who survived, however, face a fate worse than death. They suffer from acute breathlessness, brain damage, menstrual chaos, loss of immunity; some journalist have dubbed it chemical AIDS. But far from receiving sympathy or assistance from those responsible, the survivors are being treated as though they are criminals.

Twelves years later, the Corporation continues to victimise them by withholding information about the gas and possible courses of treatment. And the Government still fails to provide basic medical care and health services.

In February 1989, the Government sold out the people it claimed to represent, by agreeing to a settlement of just US$ 470 million with the Corporation. Despite concrete evidence that the tragedy occurred due to unsafe design and reckless cost-cutting, it has lacked the will to take any action against the Corporation. It continues to ignore the repeated directives of the Bhopal court to extradite Warren Anderson and other senior officials of Union Carbide who face charges of manslaughter and other criminal offences.

In addition, the Government has not set up any effective mechanism to ensure that compensation reaches the survivors before it is too late. It has done next to nothing to rehabilitate them with hygienic living conditions and appropriate livelihood options.

Instead, the Government has had survivors beaten up, arrested and even jailed for demanding justice in Bhopal.

But the survivors are not giving up. They believe that the judgement of the last 12 years, is not the final judgement on Bhopal. They are determined to continue their fight for justice. Because they hope for a safer world - a world with No More Bhopals. Help make it happen.


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