The advertisements show pictures of severely malformed or brain damaged children and the text says: “Some injuries are too harrowing to show, like the eye engulfed by a raw tumour that left a small girl in agony until it finally killed her.”
The charity, which funds two clinics in Bhopal, has also funded a “huge, rigorous study covering more than 100,000 people exposed to gas, to poisoned water, and to both.
“The work is almost finished. Results have to be confirmed and analysed but indications are that many families have been poisoned twice, first by Carbide’s gases, then by contaminated water.
“In poisoned areas birth defects are occurring at rates many times the Indian average.”
The advertisements say that after the gas leak, the Union Carbide plant was abandoned with the lethal pesticides still inside, while nearby were lakes of toxic waste, despite fears that local water supplies would be affected.
As early as 1999, a Greenpeace study found many wells contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals. The same contaminants were in the blood and breast milk of women living downstream from the factory.
In 2006 doctors visiting the affected areas found almost half the children they examined were brain damaged. Since then, the charity says, the situation has worsened.
The government of India initially sued Union Carbide for $3 billion, and settled for $370 million, and obtained the stamp of the Supreme Court of India on that settlement, discharging Union Carbide of any further obligation in the matter. This sell-out was in 1989.
The number of victims was far in excess of initial estimates, but the compensation amount remained the same. Only depreciation of the rupee and the interest accrued on the original deposit, as the courts decided to whom and how the money would be disbursed, enhanced the corpus.
But the compensation received by the victims from the sum obtained from Union Carbide was paltry.
In June of this year, The Business Standard Reports:
Janki Bai Sahu, a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, who filed a case in a US court on behalf of herself and her family and sought damages from Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), has had her appeal petition dismissed on several grounds, including the statute of limitations.
She and others had their petitioned dismissed last year and had appealed before a higher court. The case was originally filed in 2004. The petition was on the pollution of soil and groundwater by hazardous waste generated in the factory, site of what is considered the world's worst industrial disaster, when toxic gas leaked from it in December 1984, killing thousands then and many more from the after-effects in later years.
Capital gets away with mass murder. Capitalists make billions and walk away scott free while thousands suffer. Global capital rules all, some would say, and they would be pretty correct. The multitudes and in this case the victims have fought a long and hard battle and they are not giving up. We need to be there with them. Their fight is our fight. The Empire which has wrecked havoc on them, is the same Empire we face in our own backyard. The people of Bhopal were casualties of the war the Empire wages on us all. They are some of the most horrible examples of the disregard of Capital for the people of the planet, and for the planet itself.
There are two posts below. The first from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal is a reaction to the recent US court ruling. The second from Bhopal.net contains information and a petition about the chief henchmen in all this and the on going attempt to bring him to some kind of justice.