Victims and activists term half marathon"Run Bhopal Run" organized on Bhopal Gas tragedy day, as shameful

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) 'Bhopal Runners', run by the Indore District Magistrate, Nishant Warwade and backed by the State Government has been organizing 'Run Bhopal Run' on December 3, since 2015.

Various events and activities such as long and short marathon, music events, Eat Bhopal Eat and so on are being organised on this day.

But, several organizations and activists, who work for rehabilitation of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims, spoke up against the event and urged people to boycott it citing it 'a shameful event'.

Taking a jibe over the issue, the convener of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghathan (BGPMUS), Abdul Jabbar Khan said, "Have you heard Kishore Kumar's song 'Aag lagi hamri jhopdiya me ham gawe malhar'"? "It is just like that".

"Instead of backing us, empowering the voice of victims, supporting our demands for rehabilitation, the shameless NGO has been celebrating the day," Jabbar said.

"Some NGOs backed by the state government are trying to phase out the tragedy from the young minds by organizing such events," he added.

On the midnight of December 3, 1984, one of the world's biggest tragedy happened in the city of lakes, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) known as 'Bhopal Gas Tragedy' which affected around 55,000 people.

Ever since December 3 is mourned as a black day and there is a local holiday in the city. People remember the tragedy, organise candle march, hold protests and demand for rehabilitation and compensation of the victims and action against the company 'Union Carbine' throughout the day.

Commenting on the issue State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi, said, "I have deep condolence with the Bhopal tragedy victims but in my view protesting such public invent is senseless".

Rashida Bee, Goldman Environmental Awardee and president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said, "While all old Bhopal will be mourning the death of their loved ones, the state government is supporting a spectacle with DJ music and Zumba dance in new Bhopal. This shows the abysmal depths of inhumanity in the powers that be".

She appealed to the participants of 'Run Bhopal Run' to withdraw their registration in solidarity with the Bhopal victims. Organised by volunteer organization Bhopal Runners, the half marathon aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, is supported by the state government.

Jolted by the event, the social activist of the city, Ajay Dubey called the event shameful. "By organising such event, the NGO is trying to make a mockery of the gas tragedy victims. The victims are stilling fighting to get drinking water, proper treatment, and some outsider NGO came to the city and start playing DJ on that day, It is really shameful. We have also protested against the event and urged district administration to ban it".

Despite several calls, the president of the NGO 'Bhopal Runner' and wife of Indore DM Nishant Warwade, Amita Chand did not respond.

Kashif Hasnain

Kashif Hasnain

Author is a Delhi-based journalist, who have keen interest in writing politics, social and human interest stories. Food is his weakness, exploring new places is his love and making new contacts is his hobby.

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