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The impact of an MNC in india...powerpoint

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The impact of an MNC in india...powerpoint

  1. 1. The impact of an MNC in: Bhopal, India!
  2. 2. Introduction… <ul><li>More than 20 years after the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, upwards of 100,000 people in the city are still seriously ill and the drinking water of a further 20,000 has been poisoned by chemicals leaking from the abandoned plant. Union Carbide and its 100% owner Dow Chemical, refuse to clean their factory. </li></ul><ul><li>A prfulfilalled, the Bhopal Medical Appeal began in Britain as a joint effort of ordinary individuals to bring free medical relief to the victims of the gas and water disasters. There are now supporters across the world. At the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal all consultations, treatments, therapies and medicines are completely free. More than 16,000 people have been treated there and in 2002 the clinic won the Margaret Mead Award which is given to small groups who make a big difference in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>In April 2005 a new clinic was opened, still with support of donations to help keep the clinic running. </li></ul>
  3. 3. How the disaster happened? <ul><li>On the night of Dec. 2nd and 3rd, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, began leaking 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate . </li></ul><ul><li>None of the six safety systems designed to contain such a leak were operational, allowing the gas to spread throughout the city of Bhopal. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular maintenance had fallen into disrepair that on the night of December 2 nd , when an employee was flushing a corroded pipe, multiple stopcocks failed and allowed water to flow freely into the largest tank of MIC. </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to this water soon led to an uncontrolled reaction; the tank was blown out of its concrete sarcophagus and spewed a deadly cloud of MIC, hydrogen cyanide, mono methyl amine and other chemicals that hugged the ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Blown by the prevailing winds, this cloud settled over much of Bhopal (shown right). </li></ul><ul><li>Soon thereafter, people began to die. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Survivors memories… <ul><li>Survivor, Champa Devi Shukla, remembers that &quot;It felt like somebody had filled our bodies up with red chillies, our eyes tears coming out, noses were watering, we had froth in our mouths. The coughing was so bad that people were writhing in pain. Some people just got up and ran in whatever they were wearing or even if they were wearing nothing at all. Somebody was running this way and somebody was running that way, some people were just running in their underclothes. People were only concerned as to how they would save their lives so they just ran. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Those who fell were not picked up by anybody, they just kept falling, and were trampled on by other people. People climbed and scrambled over each other to save their lives – even cows were running and trying to save their lives and crushing people as they ran.&quot; In those apocalyptic moments no one knew what was happening. People simply started dying in the most hideous ways. Some vomited uncontrollably, went into convulsions and fell dead. Others choked to death, drowning in their own body fluids. Many died in the stampedes through narrow gullies where street lamps burned a dim brown through clouds of gas. The force of the human torrent wrenched children's hands from their parents' grasp. Families were whirled apart,&quot; reported the Bhopal Medical Appeal in 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The poison cloud was so dense and searing that people were reduced to near blindness. As they gasped for breath its effects grew ever more suffocating. The gases burned the tissues of their eyes and lungs and attacked their nervous systems. People lost control of their bodies. Urine and feces ran down their legs. Women lost their unborn children as they ran, their wombs spontaneously opening in bloody abortion.&quot; According to Rashida Bi, a survivor who lost five gas-exposed family members to cancers, those who escaped with their lives “ are the unlucky ones; the lucky ones are those who died on that night.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. The effects? <ul><li>Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 20,000 died as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant site. </li></ul><ul><li>These ailments include blindness, extreme difficulty in breathing, and gynecological disorders. </li></ul><ul><li>The site has never been properly cleaned up and continues to poison the residents of Bhopal. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1999, local groundwater and well water testing near the site of the accident revealed mercury at levels between 20,000 and 6 million times those expected. </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer and brain-damage- and birth-defect-causing chemicals were found in the water; trichloroethene, a chemical that has been shown to impair fetal development, was found at levels 50 times higher than EPA safety limits. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2001, Michigan-based chemical corporation Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide, thereby acquiring its assets and liabilities. However Dow Chemical has steadfastly refused to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water, compensate the victims, or disclose the composition of the gas leak, information that doctors could use to properly treat the victims. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Union Carbide's response? <ul><li>The Union Carbide factory in Bhopal built the pesticide factory there in the 1970s, thinking that India represented a huge untapped market for its pest control products. </li></ul><ul><li>But sales never met the company’s expectations; Indian farmers, struggling to cope with droughts and floods, didn’t have the money to buy Union Carbide’s pesticides. The plant, which never reached its full capacity, proved to be a losing venture and ceased active production in the early 1980s. </li></ul><ul><li>However vast quantities of dangerous chemicals remained; three tanks continued to hold over 60 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC). </li></ul><ul><li>The management’s reasoning seemed to be that since the plant had ceased all production, no threat remained. Every safety system that had been installed to prevent a leak of MIC (at least six) ultimately proved inoperative. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Union Carbide's charges? <ul><li>The gas-affected people of Bhopal continue to succumb to injuries sustained during the disaster, dying at the rate of one each day. Treatment protocols are hampered by the company's continuing refusal to share information it holds on the toxic effects of MIC. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Union Carbide and its new owner Dow Chemical claim the data is a &quot;trade secret,&quot; frustrating the efforts of doctors to treat gas-affected victims. The site itself has never been cleaned up, and a new generation is being poisoned by the chemicals that Union Carbide left behind. </li></ul><ul><li>It wasn’t until 1989 that Union Carbide, in a partial settlement with the Indian government, agreed to pay out some $470 million in compensation. </li></ul><ul><li>The victims weren’t consulted in the settlement discussions, and many felt cheated by their compensation -$300-$500 - or about five years’ worth of medical expenses. </li></ul><ul><li>Today, those who were awarded compensation are hardly better off than those who weren’t. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1991, the local government in Bhopal charged Warren Anderson, Union Carbide’s CEO at the time of the disaster, with manslaughter. If tried in India and convicted, he faced a maximum of ten years in prison. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>However Mr. Anderson never stood trial before an Indian court; he instead, evaded an international arrest warrant and a summons to appear before a US court. For years Mr. Anderson’s whereabouts were unknown, and it wasn’t until August of 2002 that Green peace found him, living a life of luxury in the Hamptons. </li></ul><ul><li>Neither the American nor the Indian government seem interested in disturbing him with an extradition, despite the recent scandals over corporate crime. This is unfortunate: Mr. Anderson’s decisions didn’t just wipe out retirement plans, they killed people. </li></ul><ul><li>The Union Carbide Corporation itself was charged with culpable homicide, a criminal charge whose penalty has no upper limit. These charges have never been resolved, as Union Carbide, like its former CEO, has refused to appear before an Indian court. </li></ul><ul><li>Union Carbide also remains liable for the environmental devastation its operations have caused. Environmental damages were never addressed in the 1989 settlement, and the contamination that </li></ul><ul><li>Union Carbide left behind continues to spread. These liabilities became the property of the Dow Corporation, following its 2001 purchase of Union Carbide. </li></ul><ul><li>The deal was completed much to the chagrin of a number of Dow stockholders, who filed suit in a desperate attempt to stop it. Dow was quick to pay off an outstanding claim against Union Carbide soon after it acquired the company, setting aside $2.2 billion to pay off former Union Carbide asbestos workers in Texas. However, has consistently and stringently maintained that it isn’t liable for the Bhopal accident. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Bhopal Medical Appeal <ul><li>The Bhopal Medical Appeal was launched in 1994, when a man from Bhopal came to Britain to tell whoever would listen about the calamitous condition of the still suffering victims of the Union Carbide gas disaster. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who met him learned that after ten years, the survivors had received no meaningful medical help. </li></ul><ul><li>Survivors realised that they must help themselves, because nobody else would. They wanted to open their own free clinic for gas victims. </li></ul><ul><li>They were joined in the UK by a few individuals who put the mechanics of the Appeal together. They were in turn joined in this effort by other like minded people. </li></ul>The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) PAN-UK is a member of the ICJB, which seeks to obtain justice for the survivors in Bhopal, and many of whose aims have medical significance - for example, the provision of proper medical relief, including for people born since the disaster who suffer from gas- and water-poisoning, adequate compensation for past medical bills and loss of livelihood, the clean-up of the factory, which continues to poison nearby land and drinking water supplies.
  10. 10. Today… <ul><li>Victims in Bhopal have been left in the lurch, told to fend for themselves as corporate executives elude justice and big corporations elude the blame. </li></ul><ul><li>Dow’s unwillingness to fulfil its legal and moral obligations in Bhopal represents only the latest chapter in this horrifying humanitarian disaster. </li></ul><ul><li>For twenty years, the victims of Bhopal have continued to demand justice. </li></ul><ul><li>Achievements of the new clinic (2002)… </li></ul><ul><li>Have developed safe, effective and inexpensive treatment methods for particular symptoms or symptom complexes. </li></ul><ul><li>At Sambhavna they provide free treatment to the gas victims on the basis of their symptoms or symptom complexes. Those coming for medical care can chose to be treated through allopathy, Ayurveda and Yoga. </li></ul><ul><li>Constant efforts are being made towards developing treatment protocols for specific symptom complexes. </li></ul>

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