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Bhopal Mela Commemorates 24th Anniversary Of Bhopal Disaster


12/08/2008

Bhopal Mela commemorates 24th Anniversary of Bhopal Disaster

Boston4Bhopal Coalition and MIT Amnesty International marked the 24th Anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, that devastated thousands in the world’s worst industrial chemical disaster through dance, song and music performances, the event will raise proceeds that will be used to help fight ongoing water poisoning and multi generational health problems that still plague Bhopal residents today.

Boston4Bhopal Coalition, MIT Amnesty International, Association for India's Development and MIT Sangam showcased a rich array of performances for the Bhopal cause featuring tango, classical Indian music, a capella and Bollywood dancing. On Saturday, December 6th from 7pm-9:30pm at the Wong Auditorium at MIT Sloan, performances dazzled and delighted the audience to raise awareness, hope and funds for the Bhopal survivors. Organizers also took a moment to remember the lives lost in the recent terror attack in Mumbai, India.

“By coming together for an evening of music and dance, we hope to commemorate the anniversary of this disaster by honoring the perseverance and struggle of the Bhopalis, and helping them in their quest for justice and their basic human rights,” said Roshan Kumar, a member of Boston 4 Bhopal.

“The event allows us to celebrate the spirit of the Bhopalis through art, while educating and informing the public about the ongoing disaster in Bhopal,” said Aquene Freechild, a performer at the Mela, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “gathering” used to apply to festivals.

Nearly 500,000 people were exposed to poisonous methyl isocyanate during a runaway chemical reaction at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on December 3rd, 1984. Since then, more than 23,000 people have died and more than 100,000 survivors continue to be chronically ill; many are still exposed to toxic chemicals leaked into their water by the company before and long after the accident.

Second-generation disaster survivors, including many small children, are now coping with the chemical fallout. There is a high incidence of babies born with cerebral palsy, cleft lips and other defects—only a fraction of the mental and physical burdens for survivors exposed to toxic gas and contaminated water.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) is held approximately 100 actions across the United States, India, and the world to remember victims and honor survivors of the disaster. The Bhopal Mela in the 24th year of this disaster will help the Bhopal survivors get closer to justice.

For additional information on Bhopal Mela, contact Aquene Freechild or visit www.boston4bhopal.org.

www.bhopal.net  ∙ www.studentsforbhopal.org  ∙ www.thetruthaboutdow.org



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