Norwegian band performs for Bhopal gas victims

December 16th, 2008 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhopal, Dec 16 (ANI): A Norwegian music band named ”Seven Winds” recently held a concert here for the survivors of Bhopal gas victims.
Seven Winds performed outside the Union Carbide plant where the tragedy took place 24 years ago.
The performers expressed that they were really touched by stories of gas tragedy in media reports and wanted to give a focus to the ongoing campaign in the country for the help of gas victims.
“We think it’’s important to give focus to the project that you have been doing in Bhopal. The work is not finished, but you have to keep on working and help people who have been victims for this huge-huge accident. We just like to give a focus to it and to give a concert for those hit by this accident,” said Unni Lovlid, singer from Norway.
Hordes of gas victims enjoyed the musical performances and later performers from Bhopal joined the band and sang a few Hindi songs.
Lead guitarist of the band Beckay expressed that the moment they decided to visit, he could not think of visiting any other place other than Bhopal.
“It doesn”t matter that there was one victim or twenty-five or one hundred thousand. It will be always a victim who gave his life unnecessarily,” said Beckay.
Over 3,500 people died in the days following the accident, when toxic fumes leaked out of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, on the night of December 2, 1984.
Officials say nearly 15,000 people have died from cancer and other diseases since then.
Activists have put the toll at 33,000 and claim that toxins from thousands of tonnes of chemicals lying in and around the site have seeped into ground water.
Union Carbide, in 1984, accepted moral responsibility for the tragedy and established a 100 million dollars charitable trust fund to build a hospital for the victims. Later Union Carbide was taken over by Dow Chemicals.
Union Carbide also paid 470 million dollars to the Indian government in 1989 in a settlement reached after a protracted legal battle.
The victims were paid Rs. 25,000 in case of illness and Rs. 1,00,000 to the next of kin of those killed.
Michigan-based Dow Chemical says it is not responsible for the clean up as it never owned or operated the plant.
The Madhya Pradesh state government now owns the abandoned plant. (ANI)

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