Bhopal Blues on Wheels: tales of tragedy retold

New Delhi, Nov 30 ( Children of survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy will Tuesday start a three-day caravan campaign in Delhi where they will go to several colleges, telling stories of the disaster and showcasing a mobile photo exhibition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the disaster.

The campaign called “Bhopal Blues on Wheels” will be flagged off from Jantar Mantar in New Delhi Tuesday by renowned filmmaker Muzaffar Ali. Over the next three days, the bus will go to educational institutes like Delhi University colleges, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Jamia Milia Islamia University.

Amongst those who will be on board are children of the survivors of the tragedy.

“The children, who are a part of the group Children Against Dow-Carbide, will talk about their experiences to students here so that they get to see, hear and possibly feel for real the actual effects which this grave, irresponsible act of a representative of brute capitalism has had on people,” said Javed Naqi of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

The Bhopal gas tragedy – one of the worst industrial disasters – took place in Madhya Pradesh on the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984, when tonnes of methyl isocyanate and other lethal gases spewed out of the Union Carbide Corporation’s pesticide plant here, killing more than 3,500 people instantly and maiming several thousand for life.

“The aftermath of the disaster was and is huge and 25 years after it took place, people are still fighting for rehabilitation. This campaign, which will see films being screened on the effects of the poisonous gas leakage on generations, will culminate Dec 3 with a rally at Jantar Mantar,” Naqi said.