Published: 19th April 2021
#ThrowBackToday: The two women who continue to fight for victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy
In today's #TBT, we recollect the hopeless day of December 3, 1984 wherein more than 27 tons of poisonous gases leaked from the Union Carbide factory and the two heroes who fight for its victims
It's been 27 years since the horrific 1984 Union Carbide gas leak. Called the worst man-made disaster of the world, it was solely responsible for killing 20,000 people and injuring 1,50,000 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. After about 20 years of this tragedy continuing to manifest in the form of ailments in the next generations, two women, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, decided that it's time to escalate matters.
The duo, who are the survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy themselves, led an action suit, under which, they demanded that compensation should be given to those who are bearing the brunt of the disaster. They have been working tirelessly for the victims and ensuring that they campaign for them.
Recognising their efforts, the Goldman Environmental Prize, which is a hat tip to grassroots environmental warriors, was conferred upon Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla on April 19, 2004. The duo promptly used the prize money to create Chingari Trust. Founded in 2006, the main aim was to extend economic and livelihood support to those victims who suffer from the gas tragedy, especially to women and children. They even started the Chingari Award to support those fighting against corporate crime and environmental destruction.