Bhopal gas tragedy victims rue government apathy even after 24 years

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Bhopal, Dec 2 : Even after 24 years of the Bhopal gas tragedy, victims affected by it are still awaiting help and support.

Demanding government intervention, the victims said that their long fight for justice has cost them a fortune.

"Until now four billion rupees have been spent by these people in this fight. It is really shameful. The governments and the politicians are nothing but coffin thieves. They have snatched money from the dying people," said Abdul Jabbar, President, Women Entrepreneur Association, Bhopal.

"The people here are suffering from diseases like lung problems and other respiratory diseases. The children who are being born now are also facing problems like poor vision, less growth and lack of memory. It is very clear that Bhopal is a dying city," added.

The victims lament the government's failure to provide them with quality medical care.

"The problems that we faced at the time of the gas tragedy are nothing in comparison to what we are facing now. The government is not providing us with proper medicines. We don't have money to get ourselves treated by private doctors. The medicines provided at government dispensaries are ineffective. The situation is just worsening now," said Sayyed Irfan, a gas victim.

They complain that it has taken them their lifetime and their filial generation too might suffer on this account.

"The government has not provided us with proper medical facilities and adequate compensation. Our generation is almost finished fighting for the cause of justice. We are not even sure that our children who are also fighting with us will ever be able to get anything," said Mohini Devi, another gas victim.

On the night of December 2, 1984, tons of a toxic gas leaked from a pesticide plant owned by Union Carbide in Bhopal, killing about 3,800 people almost immediately. Thousands more were injured.

Union Carbide in 1984 accepted moral responsibility for the tragedy and established a 100 million dollars charitable trust fund to build a hospital for victims. Later, Union Carbide was taken over by Dow Chemical.

ANI

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