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Bhopal Gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, awarded Padma Shri, posthumously

Social activist Abdul Jabbar who fought for the victims and survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy has been awarded Padma Shri, posthumously.

Reported by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 25, 2020 20:22 IST
1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, awarded Padma Shri, posthumously
Image Source : FACEBOOK

1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, awarded Padma Shri, posthumously 

Social activist Abdul Jabbar who fought for the victims and survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy has been awarded Padma Shri, posthumously. 'Jabbar bhai’  as he is fondly called, lost his mother, father, and brother to the world’s worst industrial accident. He himself suffered lung fibrosis and lost 50% of his vision. But the unsung hero never stopped fighting.

After months of treatment, Jabbar passed away on November 14, 2019. Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government announced that it would bear expenses of Jabbar's treatment.

Before the government could do anything to improve his medical condition, Jabbar passed away a few hours after the announcement.

India Tv - 34 years later, protesters are still taking to the streets demanding better compensation, rehabilita

Image Source : TWITTER

34 years later, protesters are still taking to the streets demanding better compensation, rehabilitation for the victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The Bhopal gas tragedy, the world's worst industrial disaster killed nearly 20,000 people since that night according to some unofficial estimates, of which 3,000 died instantly, while lakhs remain severely disabled suffering from debilitating conditions like lung cancer, kidney and liver failure and eye disorders.

On the fateful night,  When the strong smell emanating from the MIC gas made its way into Jabbar’s house, he picked up his mother, started his scooter and drove on for almost 40 km to keep her in a safe place. “We ran 40 km away from Bhopal to Abdullah Ganj to save our lives. It was the day when humans ran in desperation,” he told Two Circles, an online publication.

India Tv - Bhopal Gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, awarded Padma Shri, posthumously

Image Source : TWITTER

Bhopal Gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar, awarded Padma Shri, posthumously 

Despite taking his mother to safety, the damage was done. He soon lost his mother, father and an elder brother to the after-effects of this disaster. Even he did not escape the after-effects of this lethal leak, suffering lung fibrosis and losing vision in both eyes by half.

When Jabbar returned to see the fallout of what had happened on the streets of his locality later that night, he saw dead bodies strewn everywhere—a scene straight out of the apocalypse. This soft-spoken and unassuming unsung hero was filled with rage at the sight of his people suffering.

His anger helped him fight for the people who suffered and every Indian must know the story of his three-decade-old struggle. 

His journey began by taking the injured to the local government hospital for treatment while assisting in the process of taking dead bodies away for their post-mortem. After three years, he founded the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (Bhopal Gas Female Victims’ Association), an advocacy group for the victims, survivors and their families, conducting organized demonstrations seeking not merely allowances and compensation, particularly for widows who lost their loved ones to the disaster, but also employment opportunities.

India Tv - Bhopal Gas Tragedy

Bhopal Gas Tragedy 

For more than three decades, Jabbar has gone around conducting protests and filing court petitions seeking greater medical rehabilitation for victims, and the prosecution of local Union Carbide officials. Undoubtedly, if Jabbar and others like him didn’t have raised their voice, many of the victims and survivors would have gotten nothing.

India Tv - Victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy

Victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy 

Jabbar, who always fought for others, sacrificed a lot his personal life. His marriage fell apart and all his life struggled for basic needs with damaged eyes and lungs. 

Even though the governments failed the people of Bhopal, Jabbar Bhai and gave his life for the rights of the survivors. 

ALSO READ | Langar Baba Wins Padma Shri: Know the story of Jagdish Lal Ahuja

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