New Delhi, Nov 15:
After fighting for nearly 30 years, Bhopal gas tragedy survivor Kamla Bai is finally hopeful of “achche din” (good days) following the government’s assurance that her for additional compensation and revision of death figures will be met.
The 70-year-old Kamla Bai is one among the many survivors of the gas tragedy who were on an indefinite fast in the national capital since Nov 10.
The five women survivors and their supporters broke their waterless fast after four days at the Jantar Mantar protest site after assurance from Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar.
“With the government assurance comes a ray of hope that our voice has been heard. I am hopeful of ‘achche din’ now, a promise the new government made,” Kamla Bai told IANS.
The survivors were demanding additional compensation of Rs.1 lakh for those affected and correcting the numbers of those killed and the extent of injuries in the curative petition filed in the Supreme Court by the central government.
The Union Carbide disaster took place on the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984.
The protest was led by five organisations.
“On both our demands, the minister has agreed to the determination of compensation on the basis of data from medical research and hospital records instead of the faulty medical categorisation that we were agitating against,” said Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
Safreen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide told IANS that “though it took us 30 long years, we finally jolted the government out of its slumber”.
Balkrishna Namdeo of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said the minister agreed that the curative petition will be “amended on the basis of figures of death and extent of injuries caused by the disaster from scientific research and hospital records”.
“The minister has also assured that the government will seek urgent hearing of the amended curative petition,” he said.