Dharna 2010

Currently, hundreds of Bhopali activists are braving the monsoon season in Delhi to demand compensation, medical care, legal action, and site remediation. Hundreds more are expected to join the dharna (sit-in) until their demands are met. We'll be posting the latest news on their progress here.

Day 8

  • Posted on: 2 August 2010
  • By: SfB.Website
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Dharna Blog

Day 8: 2.08.10

bhopalis decided to stay at jantar mantarToday our dharna took a dramatic turn as a fresh batch of around 150 people came in from Bhopal, fresh with determination and strength. Some like Bano Aapa, were returning, having been in the first group that inaugurated this dharna on July 26. This group joined some people who had stayed overnight even as most of their companions returned, such as little 8 year old Sana, with a tumor in her throat, and her family. In the morning, Rachna went with this family back to AIIMS, where with the help of Ram Vilas Paswan, an attempt was made to diagnose her and schedule further appointments as soon as possible for treatment. Currently, it appears her treatment might only go forward in November, but we are hoping that something can happen sooner than that.

In the afternoon, the BJP took the Bhopal issue in Jantar Mantar and turned it into an unbelievable display of crass opportunism. A large, fancy cardboard structure proclaimed the failure of the Congress in dealing with the Bhopal issue, and an exhibit, with large glossy black and white photos and text, explained the gas tragedy. Meanwhile, none of the BJP MPs who visited the site, Sushma Swaraj included, seemed to notice the actual people from Bhopal right next to their display, even though several party functionaries had parked their cars right next to our dharna sthal. A press person seemed to notice this odd fact, and it was perhaps through that intervention that the BJP realized their mistake, and sent over the Madhya Pradesh party president to talk to Rachna and Sathyu. We gave him a list of relevant questions to ask in the parliament, and can only hope these questions will be raised!

Day 7

  • Posted on: 2 August 2010
  • By: SfB.Website
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Dharna Blog

Day 7: 1.08.2010

Today's dharna sthal can best be described as soaked. It poured in the morning, and then it was hot and sticky all afternoon. It’s been a week of humid shuttling between Jantar Mantar and Columbus School.

Despite heavy rains and terrible condition at Jantar Mantar, which seems to have soaked all the dirt of the city within it, spirits at the dharna sthal continue to remain upbeat! In the morning when most of us were sitting huddled together under our tirpaal a very sweet Sardarji, whose name we missed, was quite moved seeing us struggle with the rain. He actually remembered us from our last dharna two years ago at the same place, and very generously treated us all to chai(tea) and bread pakoras. These unexpected, unscheduled visits and unconditional solidarity recharge our batteries to look forward to yet another day of struggle.

Day 6

  • Posted on: 2 August 2010
  • By: SfB.Website
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Dharna Blog

Day 6: 31.07.2010

Singing in the RainDelhi’s incessant heat that persists even during the night resulted in an asthma attack for Irfan Bhai. So in the morning a round of calls began for volunteers to take him to AIIMS, India‘s one of the best hospital. However, failing to find a volunteer at such a short notice Vikas and Nawab Bhai started off for AIIMs with Irfan Bhai. Shalini could only join them almost an hour later due to roads flooded with water and debris. It was a shock to see the situation inside the hospital. Patients were making their way to different units through the rain water that trespassed its way to the insides of the hospital uninvited and unexpected. Does that ring a bell? Even after 26 years, thousands of Bhopalis are living with the poisons that trespassed their homes and bodies on the night of 2-3rd Dec 1984. Within two hours of nebulization Irfan Bhai felt much better and returned to Jantar Mantar. On his way he kept reminiscing about the good old days of eighties when there were few vehicles on the road! Shalini, meter meter bhag lete the hum log! Ab to sadak sirf auto, car, buses aur inhe chalane waalon ke liye hain! [Shalini, we could run kilometers at a stretch back then. Now roads are meant only for autos, cars, buses and those who could afford them!]

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