‘Parallel Games for disabled if Dow sponsors London Olympics’

August 8th, 2011 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Aug 8 (IANS) The Bhopal Gas tragedy survivors as well as those who support their cause worldwide have decided to protest Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the London Olympics 2012. They have threatened to hold a “parallel” Olympics of those rendered disabled due to toxins from Dow’s factories.

If the managing committee of the London Olympics does not reconsider its decision, the non-government organisations fighting the 1984 Union Carbide disaster case along with their counterparts from other parts of the world have said they will hold a “parallel” Olympics for the disabled in London itself.

“We have already raised the issue in London and registered our protest. But if Dow Chemicals still remains the sponsor of the London Olympics, we will hold a parallel Olympics in London itself,” Tim Edward of United Kingdom, a trustee of Sambhavna and Chingari centers, which provides medical aid to Bhopal gas disaster survivors told IANS.

A social activist from London, Edward is a frequent visitor to India and at present in Bhopal.

“Bhopal is not the only place where Dow or Union Carbide has killed thousands of people from their poisonous units. They did it in Costa Rica, Indonesia and Vietnam too. So all the people and the children who became disabled will participate in this special Olympics,” added Edward.

His wife, Farha, also an activist said, “By sponsoring the mega event, Dow wants to clean its image, but their crimes are not so little that they would be allowed to do it.”

Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action echoed Edward, saying: “We know it would not be an easy task to gather all the people rendered disabled due to Dow Chemicals or Union Carbide together and hold an Olympics, but to bring it to the world’s notice and get justice we can go to any extent. We will soon launch a series wise protest on Dow sponsoring the London Olympics in India and in London as well.”

More than 25,000 people were killed and over 5,00,000 have been affected from the leak of poisonous gas from Union Carbide factory on the intervening night of Dec 4-5, 1984.

Following the mass protest, the cases were registered against Union Carbide and its officials. Later, the matter reached the Supreme Court, which in 1992 ordered that the properties of Union Carbide be attached.

But in 2001, ignoring every fact Dow Chemicals bought Union Carbide.

“By sponsoring London Olympics, Dow Chemicals wants to show its human face to the world, but the entire world knows its devil face already. I think the London Olympics managing committee has more options of getting other sponsors so they should seriously think on the issue. With the help of our London counterparts we will hold agitations in the near future and register our protest strongly on the issue,” Abdul Jabbar, a leading activist fighting for the cause of justice to Bhopal Gas survivors, told IANS.

Several hockey Olympians have criticized Dow sponsoring the Olympics and announced to boycott the event if the sponsorship is not cancelled.

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