Abdul Jabbar, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Activist, Awarded Padma Shri Posthumously

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The Logical Indian Crew

Abdul Jabbar, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Activist, Awarded Padma Shri Posthumously

The Bhopal gas tragedy had claimed the lives of more than 15,000 people after the deadly methyl isocyanate gas leaked from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984.

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Abdul Jabbar, a crusader for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims, has been conferred with Padma Shri posthumously. Jabbar waged a relentless war over three decades to help the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy receive medical and economic rehabilitation to the scores of the victim.

Jabbarbhai

Lovingly known as 'Jabbbarbhai' among the locals, Jabbar led most of his life in poverty with his wife and three young children in a one-room hut with a shared toilet until his death on November 14, 2019. He was offered help from many politicians, corporate friends, government, but he declined all of them to stay close to the victims and help them fight for justice. Jabbarbhai did everything from lodging complaints against crooked officials to arranging bed and medication and ensuring economic stability for the gas tragedy survivors.

Jabbar formed Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS). An organization that helped the victims become economically self-reliant. The process to make them self reliant includes imparting skills through whatever meagre resources were available in the organization. Once the beneficiaries were equipped with the skills, Jabbar helped pool in orders for tailoring, bag making and traditional unique Bhopali batua from big shop owners.

A Fighter

Despite the meagre resources at hand, he never flinched from filing a judicial petition through public-spirited lawyers, seeking relief for the victims, medical care, more compensation, cleaning of toxic waste dumped in the premises of Union Carbide factory since the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, leading street agitations, joining similar people's movements, helping riot victims, opposing demolition drives, planting samplings, protesting against the construction of buildings, hotels close to the lakes, as per reports in The Hindu.

"I hope Bhopal, its people and others will never forget his work and contribution in rebuilding the life of gas victims," Jabbar's wife Saira Bano was quoted as saying.

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