India: 25 years after Bhopal gas disaster, health and environmental impact still contested

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Article
26 November 2009

The remains of the night [India]

Author: Akshai Jain, Mint [India]

At the Chingari Trust, a rehabilitation centre for children of gas victims born with congenital defects, seven-year-old Kushi Verma’s twisted frame lies on her mother’s lap. She was born with cerebral palsy. Her spine is so curved that she can’t even sit straight...Verma and others...are at the core of a debate that continues to rage 25 years after the leak of methyl isocyanate from Union Carbide’s factory here. Are these ailments...a result of that leak, and the continuing impact of pollutants in and around the factory?...there are two, opposite schools of thought...

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Article
23 November 2009

Their story is the story of Bhopal [India]

Author: Akshai Jain, Mint [India]

The intervening night of 2-3 December 1984 changed life for everyone in Bhopal...Rashida Bee...[and]...Her colleague Champa Devi Shukla...would have been just another housewife in a basti [slum] in Bhopal...Instead, they now represent the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy at conferences and demonstrations across the world. In 2004, they received the Goldman Environmental Prize, given to grass roots activists, for the work they have done with Bhopal’s poor. And they’re managing trustees of the Chingari Trust that works with children with congenital defects born to survivors of the disaster...Both remember the months after they came back to Bhopal as being the worst. Every member of their families was suffering from effects of exposure to the gas leak....There was no money and no work to be had...the women got involved with communities in the slums around the Union Carbide factory. Most of these people were drinking water contaminated by the chemicals dumped in the factory. As a result, the incidence of birth defects in children there was alarmingly high.

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Article
21 November 2009

25 yrs on, a walk through the Carbide plant [India]

Author: Akshai Jain, Mint [India]

A gentle breeze blows through the rusting carcass of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal...the Madhya Pradesh government wanted to throw... [the factory]...open to the world for the first time ever...two weeks before the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy...to show...that the plant was completely safe and to dispel fears that hazardous chemicals were still scattered in the factory...Activists working with the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal...see the move as one in a series of efforts by the government to absolve itself of any further responsibility.

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"alliance de 180 entreprises multinationales destinée à soutenir leur engagement contre l'épidémie du SIDA"

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