A gala event, at the London Living Room atop London’s City Hall, organised by London Assembly Member Navin Shah, has raised significant funds towards supporting long-term healthcare for survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster.
The money raised goes to the UK based Bhopal Medical Appeal which funds two award-winning clinics, in Bhopal, which treat the survivors of the gas disaster along with those affected by an ongoing toxic water disaster. The water contamination crisis affects thousands of poor families and is caused by recklessly dumped toxic waste, from the same disaster, leaching chemicals in to the local water supply. These two clinics are the only places to offer all of these people free healthcare.
The gala event took place on Friday 21st November and was supported by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who delivered a pre-recorded address. Mr.Shah co-hosted the event along with Mr C.B.Patel and the ABPL Group, publishers of Asian Voice. Further support came from Amnesty International, whose speaker made an impassioned address to the audience directly before Farah Edwards, from Bhopal and a survivor of the disaster herself, described some of the disaster scenes. Mr Boris Johnson Mayor of London sent a goodwill message by a video.
Whilst enjoying a fine vegetarian meal, with traditional Indian music and dancers, the guests were invited to make their pledges toward the Bhopal Medical Appeal’s work and, directly afterwards, Mr.Navin Shah Assembly Member co-hosted an auction alongside Assembly Member Darren Johnson. The two assembly members made a fine double act, a good example of cross-party working, and the auction quickly boosted the funds.
Overall, not only was a significant sum of money raised, for the appeal’s work in Bhopal, but an important group of people were reminded of the scale of this terrible tragedy whilst hearing about the ongoing public health crisis still being generated by the contaminated water.
Navin Shah AM, Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow said “I’m pleased that Londoners marked the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas tragedy by turning up in large numbers at City Hall. The event paid tribute to the thousands of people who lost their lives. The event helped to raise further awareness of the ongoing issues of water contamination and the resultant serious health problems faced by children and families surrounding the old factory areas. The diverse gathering of community & faith leaders and businesses etc at City Hall expressed solidarity with this major humanitarian cause and I’m moved that they demonstrated their commitment by generously donating to help the local charities in Bhopal doing wonderful work for the victims and their families.”