Paralympics urge to cancel Dow Chemicals sponsor

February 1st, 2012 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Prominent paralympians and para-athletes joined Bhopal gas tragedy victims and campaigners here to demand that the London Olympics Organising Committee cancel Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the 2012 Games.

The delegates demanded that the Indian government boycott the London Olympics if Dow Chemicals, Union Carbide’s current owner, continues to be the sponsor.

Girraj Singh who participated in the Athens Paralympics in 2004 said: “Dow Chemicals is yet to pay any compensation for the damage caused to the next generation of the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster.”

The committee is encouraging its owner to continue evade the legal liabilities towards the victims of the Bhopal disaster, he added.

Singh, the only para-athlete to win the Bhim Award instituted by the Haryana government, called upon the Indian government to boycott the London Olympics if Dow Chemicals continues to be its sponsor.

Sachin Jatav (17) and Mohan Kumar (13), second generation victims of the Bhopal disaster with congenital disabilities, held Dow Chemicals responsible for the denial of proper medical care and rehabilitation for the thousands of children whose parents were exposed to Union Carbide’s toxic gases.

“The Indian government has always been soft towards these criminal corporations. At least now when the whole world is opposing Dow Chemicals, the government should ensure that the company is out of the Olympics,” one of them said.

Both of them have won medals at para-athletic games in Hyderabad and Bhopal in the last two years.

Pradeep Raj who participated in the Asian Games appealed to national and international paralympians to pressurise the International Paralympic Committee to dump Dow Chemicals as a sponsor of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that despite worldwide opposition to Dow Chemical’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games the Indian government is still refusing to take effective action to have it removed.

On the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984, tonnes of poisonous methyl isocyanate had leaked from the then Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, killing over 3,000 people instantly and around 25,000 over the years. Over 500,000 were affected by the tragedy.

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