Bhopal Shadow Over London Olympics
London, Aug 8: The London Olympics organisers' move to name controversial Dow Chemical Company “with the blood of Bhopal on its hands” as a sponsor of the 2012 Games has sparked outrage amongst campaigners fighting for justice.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games has announced that Dow Chemical would fund a “spectacular” seven million pounds artwork “wrap” around the stadium throughout next year's Games, the Express.co.uk reported.
The decision has outraged campaigners fighting for up to 5,000 people who died in devastating chemical leak in Bhopal in 1984, the report said.
Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide Corporation, whose former Indian subsidiary ran the doomed plant, in 2001.
The company, embroiled in a compensation wrangle over Bhopal, said the USD 470 million compensation settlement reached by Union Carbide in 1989 was final. On average the families of those who died received roughly 1,400 pounds.
It has insisted it is not liable and has refused to pay more or to clear toxic waste from the site.
Slamming the company, victims' campaigners say children are still being born maimed because of poisons that continue to pollute the city's groundwater. They are backing a number of criminal and civil court cases against Union Carbide.
“Our terrible legacy is by no means over. Our children are still suffering,” the report quoted them as saying.
They are also urging widespread protests, including a “Bhopal Olympics” involving disabled children.
The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a formal complaint to his British counterpart David Cameron.
“By dealing with a corporation like Dow, which has the blood of Bhopal on its hands, the reputation of the London Games and its legacy will be tarnished,” Spokeswoman Rachna Dhingra said. PTI