1,000 IITians snub firm behind Bhopal tragedy
There is dissent within the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay Alumni Association. A large section is protesting the IIT-B Heritage Fund, also part of the association, for accepting sponsorship from Dow Chemical Company for the institute’s golden jubilee celebrations in New York between July 18 and 20.
Dow Chemical owns Union Carbide, the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed 3,000 people on a single night and about 20,000 people in all.
Janak Daptari, from the 1996 batch, who officially represents over 1,000 members protesting the sponsorship, said: “It is unfortunate that all Bombay IITians are not committed to the cause. But there are others who don’t want Dow’s money to support our events.”
Daptari added that the IITs don’t allow Dow Chemical to conduct campus recruitments. Other IITs, in the past, have turned down sponsorships from Dow Chemicals. “It’s shocking our director and some faculty have accepted invitations to the New York event,” said Daptari.
Dr Ajit Ranade, chairman of the IIT-B Alumni Association, said the association did not have any official view as members were divided over the issue. “But I can assure you that all the members support the rehabilitation of victims of the gas tragedy.”
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