The Bhopal Gas Tragedy : A misfortune hard to forget


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The Bhopal disaster also known as The Bhopal gas tragedy occurred on 2-3 December 1984 in which an American chemical company named Union Carbide India Limited pesticide Plant ruined the lives of many people in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This is marked as one of the world’s worst disaster happened ever. On the night of 2 December, many people lost their lives and many lost their families and belongings. This ratio includes men, women, children, and even senior citizens of the country. On this horrific night, about 42 tons of Methyl iso cyanide got leaked from the poisonous chamber.

If we talk about the gas, it is one of the most poisonous gases used in the pesticide industry. The gas leaked like clouds of fear and floated in the streets of Bhopal marking it a ruining night for all. On the wintery night of Bhopal, all the to-be victims sleeping inside their homes were unaware of the mishappening. The highly toxic substance made its way to all the towns, villages, and locations located near the pesticide plant. Approximately 5,00,000 people were exposed to the toxic gas.

As the government issued an affidavit in 2006, it was noted that the leak caused 5,58,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary injured and 3,900 permanent injuries and disabilities. This made lives hell for those who survived and even for those who were not born yet. The gas left a permanent mark on their lives, many of them became disabled with their limbs and even their mental ability could not cope with it.

It also led to lifelong chronic diseases like decreased lung function, increased pregnancy loss, increased mortality rate, increased chromosomal abilities, and many more. Not only the Bhopal’s residents, but even their upcoming generation also faced the consequences. After years when the new generation was born, some of them did not have either of their limbs or they were born mentally retarded.

The senior citizens faced severe health injuries after the disaster like Asthma and skin diseases. The doctors were unaware of the proper treatment for the incident-affected people. The gas leaked impacted humans, animals, and even trees. People who survived started dying a couple of days after the incident happened and the trees of nearby locations got barren. The land became non-fertile which led to a huge loss to the landlords.

The economy and social rate of Bhopal almost came to an end. Carcasses of bloated animals were disposed off by Municipal Corporations. People were seen running on the streets, vomiting, fainting, and dying. The city almost became a hard-to-forget cremation ground. People crying for their family members and relatives could be seen and even felt in the streets of Bhopal. Every town, village, and house of Bhopal was crying internally about what they saw and experienced. This all led to the great destruction of Bhopal including the physical and mental health of its people. Everyone was shattered, their hearts and souls were shattered in tears. This was known as one of the worst industrial disasters ever faced by a country.

After this, many people from Bhopal filed petition against the American company but they did not pay any concern towards them. They did not even give any compensation to their families and for their huge loss. The people spent all their saved money to file this petition but rather than getting any compensation, they lost it all. In the end, the Madhya Pradesh government gave compensation to the families who lost their children, parents and relatives. Some families lost the only earner of their family and some lost their mother which created a huge gap in their lives, the gap which cannot be filled ever.

After the incident, many journalists and writers interviewed the victims in order to understand their feelings and to write reports to present it to the outer world. These reports represented Bhopal peoples’ viewpoint and experience that they survived. These reports made everyone feel their fear, terror and decreased life expectancy with which they were living and are going to live for how long, no one knows. One of the famous novels about this incident was penned by Ingrid Eckerman in which he presented the experience faced by a disable person who came to this extent after the mis-happening happened. The respondent recorded about 24 audio tapes in which he extracted his heart and soul explaining what all he saw and what all he faced after the incident. After the book launch, everyone broke out of tears and tried to understand what all happened that night. But truly, they cannot feel their pain and what all they have been through.

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