Children born with disabilities as a result of the world’s worst industrial disaster in Bhopal in 1984 held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday to pay tributes to victims.
Disabled children laid out flowers and lit candles as they demanded justice ahead of the tragedy’s 31st anniversary.
“This vigil is on our behalf and our children’s behalf for those who have left us. Our children live in hope that they lead a normal life, that they get facilities; they are sending out a message to authorities to not avoid them,” said an activist, Jyoti.
“Gas victims are being treated to an extent but residents who are living behind the Union Carbide plant and are being infected by the water have not received anything. Disabilities are been seeing in the second and third generation of the victims. The government has done nothing for these disabled children,” said another activist, Mala.
In the early hours of December 03, 1984, around 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas accidentally leaked from a pesticide factory owned by U.S. multinational Union Carbide Corp. and was carried by the wind into the surrounding slums in Bhopal.
The government recorded 5,295 deaths. Activists estimate 25,000 deaths from illnesses since the leak. Many people still suffer from cancer, blindness, respiratory problems and immune and neurological disorders, with little support, they say.
Activists accuse the Indian and U.S. governments and the Dow Chemical Company, which now owns Union Carbide, of not doing enough to support victims of the disaster. (ANI)