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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Recall Pain Endured for 25 Years

Twenty-five years after the gas leak tragedy in Bhopal, survivors say they’re being short changed by the Indian government.

The city of Bhopal in India’s central Madhya Pradesh, saw the most horrifying industrial disaster on December 2, 1984. Thousands of men, women and children died because of deadly gases that escaped from a carbide plant located in the city.

The victims are still ailing with fading vision, breathlessness, pain in the joints, irregular menstrual cycles, depression, tuberculosis and even cancer of vital body parts.

One of the victims lost her parents in the disaster and still suffers from asthma.

[Naseem Bano, Victim]:
“We go to the DIG apartments to get our medicines but there we are made to stand in long, never-ending queues. There are no proper check-ups, no facilities and no good medicines available for the patients. Our condition has not changed a bit; we are still in the same position as we were at the time of the gas tragedy 25 years ago on December 2nd at 1:10 am.”

Another victim says the government has not done enough in providing relief.

[Bibi Jaan, Victim]:
“Though the doctors have diagnosed our problems, they tell us to buy the medicines from the shops. What kind of government is this if it can't provide us the basics? They just boast of providing adequate facilities to the victim of the Bhopal gas tragedy whereas in reality there is no such thing."

More than 3,500 people died in the days and weeks after toxic fumes spewed out of the pesticide plant in Bhopal.

Officials have confirmed that at least 15,000 people have died from cancer and other ailments related to the toxic gas leak.

Activists have put the toll at 33,000 and claimed that toxins from thousands of tons of chemicals lying in and around the site have seeped into the ground and contaminated the water sources.

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