Outrage over Dow’s sponsorship for London Olympics
London: London Olympics organizers’ decision to name controversial Dow Chemical Company ‘with the blood of Bhopal on its hands’ as a sponsor of the 2012 stadium in London, has sparked outrage amongst campaigners fighting for justice for Bhopal gas tragedy victims.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) recently confirmed that Dow would sponsor the seven million pounds fabric curtain that will encircle the Olympic Stadium during next summer`s Games.
The move has outraged campaigners fighting for 25,000 people who died in India’s devastating chemical leak in 1984, a website reports.
Victims’ campaigners have argued that children in the city are still being born maimed because of poisons that continue to pollute the city’s groundwater.
Campaigners are backing a number of criminal and civil court cases against Union Carbide.
They are also urging widespread protests, including a ‘Bhopal Olympics’ involving disabled children, until a change of heart from London.
They said they are particularly shocked by London Olympic chief Sebastian Coe since his grandfather was from India.
“We have a message for Seb Coe: ‘surely, it’s possible to do the Olympics without taking money from this company?” spokeswoman Rachna Dhingra said.
“They have a PR machine working for them day and night. They can pretty much get away with anything. They’re so powerful and have so much money. They hire the most expensive lawyers in this country and they dangle the carrot of investment in India,” she added.
Arundhati Muthu, Greenpeace spokesman, also described the London 2012 move as ‘offensive’.
“This crass attempt by Dow to detoxify their brand won’t wash with the thousands of victims of the Bhopal disaster, nor ordinary Londoners,” Muthu added.
The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a formal complaint to David Cameron, the report said.