Bhopal Gas Disaster Scar Never Healed
More than 3,700 people were killed and around 5,00,000 sustained respiratory diseases or were blinded when about 45 tonnes of methyl isocyanate leaked from the Indian subsidiary of the now-defunct American firm Union Carbide Corporation in Bhopal on the intervening night of December 2 and 3 in 1984
Saturday marked 39 years of the horror when the poisonous gas spread through densely populated neighbourhoods around the plant, killed thousands immediately and forced tens of thousands of others to flee Madhya Pradesh’s capital.
Survivors still suffer: The survivors and their future generations are struggling with severe health issues. Several of them were diagnosed with cancer, tumours and tuberculosis. They are still fighting for medical support and compensation. Watch this NewsClick video.
No lessons learnt: The tragedy happened because all rules were flouted knowing that the system would protect the perpetrators if anything went wrong. D Raghunandan of the Delhi Science Forum explains how India bends its laws and bends over backwards to please US investors.
Justice delayed, denied: The disaster caused 25,000 deaths over the years—many of which could have been avoided. ND Jayaprakash of the Delhi Science Forum and Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahyog Samiti explain how the victims fought back and governments have ignored them and what must be done next in an interview with NewsClick.
One dead, Dozen ill: On January 12, a 60-year-old cancer patient died of hypothermia a month after the Railways demolished his house at Annu Nagar locality along with 346 makeshift houses. Three to four decades-old colonies barely 500 metres from the factory were demolished for laying Bhopal upline and loop line tracks, NewsClick’s Kashif Kakvi reports.
Speculative research: ND Jayaprakash, joint secretary, Delhi Science Forum and co-convener, Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti, analyses a study on the impact of the disaster on the surrounding area. He explains that some of the assumptions are erroneous and the methodology chosen for conducting the study is highly questionable.
COVID-19 hit survivors more: Every second death caused by the pandemic in Bhopal in the first phase was of a victim of the gas tragedy. Of the 450 deaths till October 18, 2020, 56% were survivors of the tragedy. The death rate among those exposed to the gas was 6.5 times more. Read this report by Kashif Kakvi.
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