It may be a small but glaring example of how funds received for rehabilitation of gas victims are squandered or misused.
After a trial court verdict in Bhopal gas disaster criminal case in June, 2010, the group of ministers decided to open eight yoga centres to help the survivors find cure to pulmonary disorders, a common among them due to exposure to deadly MIC.
One of those yoga centres is located near Central Library in Itwara. The gas claim court building here was converted into a yoga centre at a cost of Rs 67 lakh. A couple of months after it was inaugurated by home minister Babulal Gaur, a portion of the centre was rented out to district registrar office even before a single yoga class could be held in the building.
Activist Abdul Jabbar, who has his ‘Swabhiman Kendra’ for gas victims nearby, has raised the issue with principal secretary (gas relief), director of gas relief and civic body officials but to no effect.
“I am not a yoga enthusiast. But, I believe that yoga could aid hundreds of gas victims suffering from respiratory disorders due to exposure to the MIC. I wish the yoga centres sanctioned for them are used for that purpose only but out of eight centres built, yoga classes are not taking place in any of them. I am afraid all of them would be rented out like this one or used for some other purpose,” said Jabbar.
BMC commissioner Tejswani Nayak said he was not aware of the issue. BMC deputy commissioner Pradeep Verma, whom he asked to take the question denied that the yoga kendra was being closed. “We had received request from registrar office for first floor of the building. We have forwarded the application to district administration for action. The yoga kendra will take place on the ground floor along with Employees’ State Insurance hospital,” Verma said.
However, a visit to the centre showed that registrar office has already locked the first floor of the building and there was no sign of a yoga kendra on the ground floor.