Dow Chemical – a 30 year legacy of horror

Yesterday marked 30 years since the chemical factory explosion in the town of Bhopal, India, when thousands of women, children, men and the elderly succumbed to a toxic gas that killed most and maimed hundreds more. Since the disaster the American firm responsible avoided both the compensation to the victims and any clean-up operation because they were bought out by Dow Chemical who refuse to take action on Bhopal.

Because the factory is still rotting into the surrounding environment, toxic chemicals are leaking into the local community’s water, causing pregnant women to give birth to children with deformities and general health problems in the local population. It is shocking that a Western Company has been allowed to kill and maim so many people and continue to maim people 30 years after – this would not be permitted in the UK or the US or any other developed country without serious repercussions – so why have the victims not received the help they deserve in India? Why is there not a huge political and mass public opinion backlash?

Thanks to charities such as the Bhopal Medical Appeal, which provides medical help in India to all those affected, there is hope for Bhopal. Now I want to see hope for humankind when the perpetrators, Dow Chemical, are finally brought to justice and made to pay for the clean-up of the toxic factory that continues to pollute today.

This is a Unicef blog but for today, this blog is for Bhopal.

Thank you for reading.

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Powerhoop

I am shattered and my waist feels like the earth’s equator. Why? because of my first post Christmas bout of Powerhoop classes. Apparently Holly Willoughby and Phiilip Schofield are going to be hooping on a forthcoming episode of This Morning – cant believe we are the trendsetters! After an hour of pounding a 4lb hula hoop round my waist to songs like Beyoncee’a single ladies, I can no longer feel my midriff – it is numb and also emitting heat   which is a tad strange but hopefully good?! Physios please feel free to fill me in on this.

I didnt have the energy to discuss my fundraising idea with my class this evening but I might improvise the idea somewhat since my post yesterday on the Bhopal tragedy. We also do Zumba and Just Jhoom Bollywood dancing and have recently started to combine power hooping to Bollywood routines. So how about a Bollywood Hoop for Bhopal by the London Eye as well as a Unicef routine? Our instructor is now off for the rest of the month for a ski and shag fest (she is a fifty something widow who enjoys life and why not?) So, when she returns I will see what she thinks of the idea. She works in PR so hopefully the publicity we could generate would help raise further awareness of Bhopal.

My head is starting to swim with the many topics I hope to cover in the blog over the start of this year – I hope to write about the following:

– MMR jab – my quest to find an alternative (may have to set up a separate blog for this)

– Encouraging major retailers to make Christmas 2013 happen for children in care

– Swimathon for Marie Curie

– Powerhooping fundraising

– And a more recent addition………DIY camper van conversion – tales from the widow of this project – my husband is spending most of his time scanning GB online for a suitable van to convert and it is driving me to distraction so will occasionally air my frustrations (and his) on this project. In doing this we are hoping to enjoy years of good family holidays on a budget – because the cost of air travel is extortionate, diesel is too but it still works out cheaper in the long run.

I forgot to insert the link to my Unicef fundraising site yesterday, so here it is I am aiming to make a £1 a day for Unicef so if you can spare a quid or a dollar for Unicef that would be fab.

Thanks for reading.

 

Making a difference in 2013 – lets start with the Bhopal disaster

Hi all, hope you had good christmasses/ holidays and enjoyed seeing in/ sleeping through the new year. My mission with this blog is to raise money for Unicef. I hope to raise at least £100 this year through my blog if not more. I am seeking fellow bloggers to give a donation, no matter how small, to Unicef after reading my blog. If one blogger donated £1 each day Unicef would be able to buy a vaccination for one child – so if I achieve my target of £100 – then lots of children get immunised. Unicef also work hard to protect children in war torn and poverty stricken situations and this money will help their eneavours world-wide. I pay a fee to Unicef for my downtime. This year I will start with £11 as I have not blogged for 11 days over the Christmas period.

Over the past few days I have been thinking about what I can do to help the world be a better place for 2013. What happens to children in care or in families who are unable to buy christmas presents? Are there charities out there that bring Christmas to these children? Either way I would like to know if stores such as John Lewis have some budget in their corporate social responsibility expenditure to donate a few of their toys to children in need in the UK? I am going to look into this and keep you posted.

I am once again going to swim for Marie Curie Cancer care this Spring – but this time an even longer distance in a relay with my daughter and friends affected by cancer. Last year I did 64 lengths so would like to aim for closer to 100. My daughter has recently got her level 3 swimming badge so hopefully she will be able to do a couple of lengths with me along with her friends and my friends – between us we should be able to cover a few miles. I  must invest in a new costume though because the one I have was designed for when I was better endowed (they have shrunk to nothing since breast-feeding ceased) I am still mourning the loss of boob now :(.

I love powerhoop – an exercise craze that tones the midriff through hoola hoping with a weighted hoop. I am hoping to convince my instructor and fellow hoopers to do a rountine to music for Unicef on London’s embankment next to the EDF London Eye (will keep you posted on this too).

Finally I read a gripping book about the industrial chemcal leak tragedy in the eighties that left hundreds of thousands of people dead or maimed. The effects of which are still present today in the form of cancers, infertility and psychological disorders. It happened when I was only four years old yet I didn’t hear about it until now. It should be on the history timeline as one of the world’s greatest tragedies but sadly it isn’t (it should be on the same awareness level as the Titanic and September 11th 2001). I am referring to Bhopal and the American owned Union Carbide chemical leak that suffocated and blinded thousands of indian infants, children, women, men and livestock. What’s worse, Union Carbide paid out a miniscule amount in damages. Carbide’s managing Director, at that time, is still in hiding after the Indian government found him guilty of homicide. The company completely disregarded safety procedures, then tried to lay the blame on Indian workers. What’s worse, the factory is still rotting and contaminating India today. The company that now owns Union Carbide, the Dow Chemical Company, have not made any effort to clear up the mess of the Bhopal legacy and a US court, in all its infinite wisdom, ruled that the Indian Government is responsible for the clean-up – sounds fair doesn’t it?  In the article online there is a picture of Indian people calling for the hunt for Osama,  a few years ago, to be re-directed to the hunt for the Union Carbide president of the eighties – Warren Anderson. Their voice has gone un-heard – why? Because lives of people in the West are more important than Indian lives (of course this is not my belief but the belief of senior American officials and corporate executives who have to date done nothing to help India out of a humanitarian disaster caused by the actions of American industry). To make matters worse, the organisers of London 2012, in all thier infinite wisdom, allowed Dow to be a sponsor – nice touch. Just as nice was letting BP sponsor the event too not long after completely fucking up part of America’s coastline and environment. The consequences for companies who mess with people’s lives, livelyhoods and surrounding environment needs to be severe – allowing them to sponsor is just as bad as letting cigarette companies sponsor events – they aren’t allowed to do it so why should Dow and BP – they contaminate health too. Read more about the Bhopal Disaster on Wikipedia. Read more about the Dow sponsorship of the olympics here.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.