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Saurabh Ajmera
Association for India's Development

Last modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bhopal disaster activists to visit Indiana University Bloomington

April 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Children of survivors of the Bhopal chemical disaster and young activists from India will visit Indiana University Bloomington on Monday (April 27) in anticipation of the 25th anniversary this December of the Bhopal disaster.

Rachna Dhingra

Rachna Dhingra

They will be joined for a panel discussion by IU Bloomington faculty members Christiana Ochoa from the IU Maurer School of Law and Stephanie Kane from the Department of Criminal Justice.

The visit and event are hosted by AID, the Association for India's Development, IU Bloomington chapter. The group seeks to call attention to continuing environmental problems at Bhopal and to hold corporate and governmental parties accountable for the disaster. Events will include:

  • An informal discussion from 4-5 p.m. in State Room East of the Indiana Memorial Union. Participants will be teenage organizers Sarita Malviya and Safreen Khan and longtime Bhopal advocate Rachna Dhingra.
  • A panel discussion with Dhingra, Ochoa and Kane from 6-7:30 p.m. in Woodburn Hall room 120.

Bhopal, often referred to as the world's worst industrial disaster, took place Dec. 3, 1984, when a chemical plant operated by an Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corp. released tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas. Some 8,000 people are believed to have died almost immediately; thousands more died later, while others suffer long-term health effects from their exposure.

The Bhopal activists and survivors are on a tour of the U.S. to meet with government officials, chemical security experts and student groups. Their goals include cleaning up pollution at Bhopal; arranging for economic rehabilitation of survivors; and fixing legal responsibility for Dow Chemical Corp., which acquired Union Carbide after the disaster.

Sarita Malviya is a founding member of the group Children Against Dow Carbide. Safreen Khan, whose mother was exposed to gas in the Bhopal incident, continues to live in the area. Rachna Dhingra, after graduating from business school in University of Michigan, now works full time with the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

For more information, contact Saurabh Ajmera with IU Association for India's Development at 630-995-0071 or