N-weapon free world: Mission of Hiroshima-Nagasaki survivors

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Kochi, Oct 2: They are alive to say to the world what they went through after US dropped atom bomb during the World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki of Japan in 1945. And they hope that one day the World will be cleared of the Nuclear weapons which took innocent lives. With this mission a team of 102 Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors have reached Kochi of Kerala.


These survivors of the Japanese Hibakushas or the atomic attack survivors are worried about the safety of the world as now India is also set to enter the world of nuclear energy. The 102 Hibakushas of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have begun a three-month global journey with a motive to promote nuclear disarmament and to share their experiences of the nuclear explosion with people around the world.

The organizers are seeing this voyage as historic and believe that it would provide a unique chance to share the stories and memories of the Hibakusha's, their sufferings and their struggle to live a decent life after the mishap.

"Our purpose is to spread the testimonies of the Hibakusha people to the world and let the people know about nuclear weapons. We want to revisit the movement against nuclear weapon," said Kawasaki Akira, Executive Committee, Peace Boat.

The Hibakusha Project started from Sep 7 and will last till Dec 18, 2008 visiting a total of 22 ports in 20 countries. From Kochi Port, the ship will leave for Massawa in Eritrea. The voyage is scheduled to end at Yokohama, Japan on Dec 18.

This voyage would provide the survivors an opportunity to interact with the masses and share their experiences with them.

One such survivor Thurlow who now lives in Toronto was just 13-year-old school girl when she along with her classmates was made an official decoder by the Japanese troops.

On that fateful day she was just 1.8 kilometers away from the hypocenter with her classmates. Though she managed to escape death, all her classmates were burnt alive in the bombardment.

"I knew I was faced to death. I couldn't move my body and I started hearing my classmates around who were saying God help me. I crawled out of building, it was on fire. That meant about 30 other girls my classmates who were around me were burnt alive," said Thurlow, nuclear attack survivor.

About 27,000 of the southwestern city's estimated 200,000 population diednstantly from the bomb, and about 70,000 had died by the end of 1945.

Nagasaki was bombed by the United States on August 9, 1945, three days after Hiroshima, where the blast also killed tens of thousands immediately and many more later succumbed to radiation sickness.

On August 15, Japan surrendered, bringing World War II to an end.


ANI

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