The Paralympic Movement celebrates the spirit and excellence of atheletes with disabilities. It seeks to inspire and excite the World. We, the undersigned, fully support the Paralympics Movement.
But today a dark cloud hangs over the Paralympics.
The Dow Chemicals Corporation is using the Paralympics to clean its image. This is a slap on the face of thousands of children living with disabilities in Bhopal, India.
Dow Chemicals (through its subsidiary Union Carbide) is responsible for the world's worst industrial disaster in Bhopal in 1984. The gas leak caused over 25,000 deaths and left over 500,000 people injured.
That was not all. Union Carbide dumped toxic waste in and around their factory. These wastes leached into the groundwater. To this day, the groundwater around the plant is contaminated.
As a result, thousands of babies continue to be born with physical and mental disabilities.
Dow, however, refuses to take responsibility for the disaster. It claims it has no liability as it did not own the plant in 1984. However, the principle of 'successor liability' requires that Dow as the acquirer of Union Carbide meet all liabilities.
It is in this context that Dow Chemicals is sponsoring the Paralympics 2012, along with the Olympics 2012. This is a cynical exercise in public relations.
We request the Paralympic Committee to stand up in support of the survivors of Bhopal. Please demand the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) to reject DOW's sponsorship of Paralympics 2012. The Indian Olympic Committee has already written to the LOCOG in protest; by protesting, the Paralympic Committee is sending a stirring message to the world.
We also request that Paralympians wear a black arm-band in support of the Bhopal survivors, and as a protest towards Dow Chemical.