Tasveer Reels: Bhopal: 25 Years of Struggle for Environmental Justice


Bhopal: 25 Years of Struggle for Environmental Justice

Friday May 29th, 2009, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

911 Seattle Media Arts Center

402 9th Ave. North (South Lake Union – 9th & Harrison), Seattle, WA

cost: Suggested contribution: $5-$10 (Proceeds will be used to cover costs. Any amount in excess of costs will be donated to the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. )

Meet activists from the longest standing campaign against corporate crime and environmental injustice. Using the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak tragedy in Bhopal, India, as the backdrop, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal and numerous Seattle-based organizations are partnering to discuss corporate crime, environmental racism and toxic trespass. We look forward to your participation!

Secrets and Lies (Stavros Stagos, Greece, 2007, 79 minutes, English, Hindi, & Urdu with English subtitles):
This historical documentary examines the 1984 chemical disaster of Bhopal, which killed up to 20,000 people, and how it continues to affect people today. It is by far the most up-to-date film on the world’s worst industrial disaster. Using U.S. multinationals Union Carbide and Dow Chemical as cases, the documentary profiles how transnational corporations hold themselves beyond the reach of law, even as generation after generation continue to be poisoned by their neglect.

Preceded by :
Hush Baby (Himali Kapil and Umang Bhattacharyya, India, 2007, 3.5 minutes, English & Hindi with English subtitles) :
A powerfully evocative short film on the continuing damage caused to Bhopal’s Generation Next, and the ongoing contamination caused by groundwater contaminated by Union Carbide’s toxic wastes.

Films will be followed by a Q&A session with:
Safreen “Rafat” Khan: 16-year old Safreen belongs to a family of six members who live behind the Union Carbide factory. Her mother was exposed to the gas in 1984. Safreen and her family continue to live in the area and consume poisoned water daily. Safreen and her sister Yasmin were the youngest members of the team of 50 survivors who walked 500 miles from Bhopal to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister in February last year. Safreen is a key organizer of the newly formed campaign group — Children Against Dow-Carbide — and believes that Carbide’s toxic legacy must be ended before it takes its toll on yet another unsuspecting generation.

Satinath ‘Sathyu’ Sarangi: Satinath is a metallurgical engineer turned activist who arrived in Bhopal a day after the disaster and stayed on to become a key figure in the struggle for justice in Bhopal. He is a founding trustee of the Sambhavna Clinic, a non-profit clinic dedicated to the holistic treatment of gas-affected persons in Bhopal. As the founder of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Sathyu has been involved with relief, research and publication of studies on the health impacts of the ongoing disaster on the residents of Bhopal.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) is a worldwide coalition of some 20 people’s organizations, non-profit groups and individuals who have joined forces to campaign for justice — legal and economic — for the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide toxic gas leak in Bhopal, India — the world’s worst industrial disaster. Organizations of survivors in Bhopal play a leading role in the international network. Twenty-five years later, survivors and their supporters continue to pressure Union Carbide’s current owner, the Dow Chemical Company, and the US and Indian governments to clean up the abandoned chemicals left at the site and ensure adequate health care, a safe environment and proper rehabilitation for the survivors of the disaster and their children.

More details about the disaster, its aftermath and effects on Bhopal’s Generation Next are available at:

1.What happened in Bhopal: www.bhopal.org/index.php?id=22 .

2.Beyond the Gas Leak: Union Carbide’s Toxic Wastes is Bhopal’s Secret Disaster www.bhopal.org/index.php?id=29.

3.Health Issues: With Carbide refusing to divulge relevant information relating to the toxicity of the gases released that night, medical treatment has been arbitr ary. Not only are the victims of that night still suffering, but children born to gas-affected parents after the disaster too seem to carry a disproportionate burden of effects of the toxic gases. Added to this is another route of exposure to people, many of whom are not gas-exposed, through groundwater contaminated by toxic wastes that still lie strewn around Carbide’s factory site. www.bhopal.org/index.php?id=100.

4.“777” – Newsletter of the Bhopal Medical Appeal. www.bhopal.org/index.php?id=113.

A panel discussion, “Corporate Crime, Environmental Injustice and Toxic Trespass: Lessons from the 1984 Union Carbide Gas disaster in Bhopal, India,” will be held on Saturday, May 30th, 4:30-6:30pm at the University of Washington. Click here for more information.

Sponsored by:
Association for India’s Development-Seattle chapter