Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The survivors of the Union Carbide Disaster have again raised the issue of employment. Why is the government not providing employment to children of gas victims while it is sitting on Rs 85 crore for the last 10 years, asked the survivors. “While the minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation has never done anything to provide gainful employment to the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, in 2018 he sought permission from Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt of India (nodal ministry on Bhopal) to divert Rs 84.75 Crores to build roads, drains, parks & fitness centres in his own constituency. This plan was thwarted after we wrote to the Union Cabinet Secretary against the diversion as the funds were sanctioned to provide gainful employment,” said Shezadi Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.
Spealing on the same lines, Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action said, “Nearly 70% of the people exposed to Union Carbide’s toxic gases in 1984 were daily wage labourers. Over 60,000 survivors are currently unable to work owing to exposure related sickness and because of that thousands of families have suffered a drastic drop in their economic condition but neither our Chief Minister nor the gas relief minister could care less. The Gas Relief department is the hub of corruption & inaction.”
In 2010, the Group of Ministers on Bhopal sanctioned Rs 104 Crores to provide gainful employment to survivors & their children by providing them with subsidised loans. In 2011, the MP government changed its plans of giving loans to providing training in vocational courses. Between 2011 and 2014, a sum of Rs 18 crores was paid to 22 agencies to provide training in vocational courses to 12,355 survivors & their children.
Through the Campaign – “Bhopal Disaster: 37 years; 37 questions” – the organizations wish to highlight urgent concerns regarding compensation, criminal justice, medical, economic and social rehabilitation and environmental remediation of polluted lands that need to be addressed to stop the on-going disaster.
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