BHOPAL: 38 years and the scars of the world’s largest and most lethal chemical disaster haven’t healed yet. The Bhopal gas tragedy that occurred on the intervening nights of December 2nd and 3rd in 1984 continues to wreak havoc in the lives of hundreds of thousands of survivors. The Gas Tragedy victims expressed gratitude on Thursday to the Members of the United Kingdom Parliament for backing an Early Day Motion (EDM) entitled ‘Campaign for justice for the victims of the Bhopal gas leak’.
The EDM calls for those responsible for the disaster to be brought to justice, and calls upon Dow Chemicals, owner of Union Carbide, “to urgently rectify the environmental damage and properly compensate the victims”. Victims of the tragedy still fight for justice and continue to undergo treatment at hospitals which is enough to prove the effect is permanent.
According to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation (BGTRR) of the Madhya Pradesh government, which functions under the supervision of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR ), more than 120,000 people continue to suffer from chronic illnesses and several hundred continue to die untimely deaths due to cancer, lung problems, kidney failure, and immunological damage.
A global toxic hotspot exists in the middle of the city which has contaminated the soil and groundwater for more than two lakh people but no cleanup is even in sight. The gas survivors are currently fighting for adequate compensation, cleaning up of poisons from soil and groundwater, punishment of the guilty corporations, and medical and social rehabilitation.
In 2011, the then CM of MP demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased and RS 5 lakh for the medically affected.