[Remember-bhopal] Press Conference in Bhopal May 25, 2004

Submitted by Editor on Thu, 27/05/2004 - 10:25

Two leaders of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh - Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla and activist Satinath Sarangi today addressed a press conference on the achievements of their recent campaign tour of USA and UK from April 13 to May 21, 2004. The two women leaders who were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize on April 19,2004 in San Francisco, USA also spoke about their plans for utilization of the prize money of US $ 125,000.

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From: Sambhavna Trust - sambavna at sancharnet.in
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 6:37:24 AM
Subject: [Remember-bhopal] Press Conf in Bhopal May 25, 2004
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International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
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May 25, 2004
Press Statement

Two leaders of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh - Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla and activist Satinath Sarangi today addressed a press conference on the achievements of their recent campaign tour of USA and UK from April 13 to May 21, 2004. The two women leaders who were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize on April 19,2004 in San Francisco, USA also spoke about their plans for utilization of the prize money of US $ 125,000.

The newly earned fame as recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize helped the two women leaders from Bhopal in gaining unprecedented access to concerned agencies and officials as well as international media attention to the continuing disaster in Bhopal.

Recounting the achievements of the campaign tour, Rashida Bee, President of the women worker's trade union said, "The campaign tour this year has fetched huge rewards for the struggle for justice in Bhopal. Mr Jose Antonio Ocampo, Undersecretary General in the United Nations has concurred with us on the need for involvement of UN agencies in disaster relief in Bhopal. Thanks to the involvement of Boston Common Asset Management we had holders of 40 million Dow Chemical shares voting for resolution of Dow's Bhopal related liabilities. We have moved city councilors in San Francisco and Boston to pass resolutions and write letters in support of the struggle for justice in Bhopal."

During their five-week tour of USA the three activists visited San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Midland. The Bhopali women leaders attended large civic receptions in their honour,bonded with communities victimized by Dow and other corporations,delivered speeches at public meetings, addressed press conferences, and took part in demonstrations at the Annual Meeting of the Dow Chemical Company. In the week-long tour of UK the Bhopal campaigners addressed public meetings at Brighton and London and participated in discussions with the staff of Amnesty International.

Describing their success in generating support for the Bhopal struggle in USA, Champa Devi Shukla. Secretary of the union said "We have been offered support by front ranking members of the Democratic Party and some of the most powerful trade unions in USA. The representative of the US State Department has personally assured us of sending latest information regarding the extradition of Warren Anderson from USA. With support from Association for India's Development [AID] we have had packed hall meetings with students at such well-known educational institutions as Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We have had meetings with the editorial boards of several newspapers including the New York Times.".

The two leaders have decided to donate the entire sum of the prize money of Rupees Fifty six lakhs to a charitable trust for the welfare of the gas victims. Medical assistance to children of gas exposed parents with congenital malformations and setting up income generating projects for women survivors will be some of the priorities of the trust proposed to be run by an all-women board.Once the proposed trust is set up, the prize money will be directly transferred to the trust from the Goldman Environmental Foundation.

Responding to the recent statements of the Minister of Gas Relief regarding carrying out investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department the two leaders said their organization, their work among the survivors and their eligibility for the prize is open to public scrutiny at any time.

RashidaBee, President
Kailashi Sharma, VicePresident
Champa Devi Shukla, Secretary
NafeesaBee, Deputy Secretary
FatimaBee, Treasurer
Chandrakala Tarar, Member Executive Committee
ParvatiPande, Member Executive Committee
YashodaSahu, Member Executive Committee
JameelaBi, Member ExecutiveCommittee

Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal

RachnaDhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Members

Bhopal Group for Information and Action
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Contact :

1. House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, BhopalTel: 3132298, 3132959
2. B-2 / 302, Sheetal Nagar, Berasia Road, Bhopal. Tel :9826167369

For more information, please visit http://www.bhopal.net and http://www.studentsforbhopal.org

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