36 years of Bhopal Gas tragedy since 1984 and survivors are still struggling for justice. Recalling their memory of the horrendous industrial accident, survivors claimed that the day was a black day in their lives and everyone else was only concerned about themselves.
Mohammad Akram (56), one of the victim and survivor told Madhyamam, "It was the worst night of my life, I was sleeping and suddenly I heard screams of children and women and got to know what was happening, everyone was trying to escape that disaster, everything was turned into rubble"
"I still remember the piles of dead bodies, I lost my friends and dear ones in that untoward incident", he added.
On the night of 2 December 1984, Bhopal Gas Tragedy happened. The chemical Methyl isocyanate (MIC) burst out from Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL'S) pesticide factory, turning Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh into a gas chamber.
A report released by International Labour Organisation (ILO) in April, 2019 revealed that the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy is one of the world's 'major industrial accidents' of the 20th century. The report also stated that the amount of gas emitted from Union Carbide plant was approximately 30 tons, which affected around 600,000 workers and killed nearly 15,000 citizens.
Since then, many governments came and went but the plea of victims went unheard.
Another victim and survivor, Naseema Akhter who was only 26 years old at the time of accident recalled that night in her words as 'qayamath' (judgement day).
She said, "It felt like the last day of the world's existence, dead bodies were loaded and were taken in trucks like some luggage"
"After that everything got vanished and we really struggled to get assistance from government and the company. Couple of times we raised the demand of paying us adequate compensation for the same and mostly it went unheard. Initially we used to wander bank to bank, to get even that minimum compensation but now it has become still worse, some of us even don't get that." She explained.
Shameem Bano, lawyer in Bhopal High Court told, "It has been 36 years and most often we witness cases, that survivors of the tragedy are still fighting for justice, just to get the compensation."
"I am myself am dealing with such cases, we all are trying to help people in such cases, as a lawyer I make sure that the victims at least get adequate compensation" she further said.
It had left dark impressions on people's mind, memory and bodies. Some of them are still facing the consequences in the form of disabilities and respiratory diseases. Thyroid and respiratory issues are most common among the victims.
After over three decades of the tragedy, survivors and victims look forward for the relief from the government and justice still awaits them.
( Video Editing : Ubair-ul-Hameed )