FOUR VOLUNTARY organisations on Thursday accused the State Government of causing deliberate harm to the gas victims. Addressing press conference in the City, representatives of the gas organisations flayed the government’s ‘criminal neglect’ towards medical care of the victims.
The leaders of the four organisations stated that they would go on an indefinite fast to pressure the government on issues of medical care, employment, social rehabilitation and environmental remediation.
Those who addressed the press meet at the Indian Coffee House, included Rashida Bi and Champa Devi Shukla Bhopal of Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Syed M Irfan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila- Purush Sangharsh Morcha , Shahid Noor of Bhopal Ki Aawaaz and Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action.
The organisations had carried out a ‘raid’ on two medical stores of the Gas Relief Department and found a large number of expired and substandard drugs.
They claimed that of the 83 samples of medicines collected from the store, 30 were found to have crossed the expiry date. The gas activists said they have been campaigning against poor quality of medicines at hospitals meant for gas victims for many years, but the issue has remained unresolved because of the rampant corruption in the State Government.
They pointed out that the issue of poor quality of medicines had been placed before the Supreme Court by the Monitoring Committee in October 2005 when the committee had recommended that random samples of medicines should be taken and sent for testing at reputed labs.
According to the activist leaders, the State Government has not sent any medicines samples for quality testing so far. On October 5, 2006 the representatives of the four survivors’ organisations had presented problems of poor quality medicines at the meeting of the Coordination Committee on Bhopal (CCB) that has been set up following directions from the Prime Minister.
At the meeting of the CCB the representatives presented a list of 22 medicines from the medical store of Khan Shakir Ali Khan hospital. Of these, 16 were made in Indore. A Secretary of the MP Government, the Director of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation and the Chief Medical Officer (Gas Relief), who were present at the meeting had agreed to take action on the matter.