The testament of Rasheeda Bee, Bhopal survivor
We heard a lot of noise outside, and then somebody opened the door. Then we got the gust of the poison wind. I told my people in my family that we must run, because everyone is running away. By which time we found out something has happened in the Union Carbide factory. Our eyes were inflamed, so we couldn’t open them, so we were running blindly. My father and everybody else was frothing at the mouth. My sister also. We did not know what to do so we ran as far as we could. And then we just sat there.
Later when it was light, we took our father and sister to the hospital. They were there for three days. Then later, my father later died of cancer.
When this happened we realized that we must come out of the house to do something about it. Many of us had never crossed the thresholds of our houses to go out. We came out. We formed our organization which is called the Bhopal Gas Affected Stationery Union.
We are fighting not just for ourselves, but also so that Bhopal doesn’t occur anywhere else in the world. One time, carrying children in our arms, we walked 700 kilometers to Delhi, the capital of the country, to present our demands.
We are trying our best to improve our economic condition, through some activities, but it is so big, it is nearly impossible for us to do things on a meaningful scale. That is why we are asking Dow, which has inherited the liabilities of Union Carbide, to provide for long term medical care to three generations of Bhopal victims, and to provide them with economic remuneration.
View a slideshow on the Bhopal disaster:
Immediate aftermath and the tragic effects of an avoidable disaster.