Not just a wife, a mother, Quaker and speaker, a writer, a runner, a cyclist…

In 2016, Annie Murray celebrated the publication of her 20th novel, an incredible achievement by any standards. Now The War Is Over was a sequel to War Babies, which were both Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers, and the third novel in the trilogy, The Doorstep Child, was released earlier this year.

Away from her writing, Annie is a wife and mother, a Quaker, and a very active supporter of the Bhopal Medical Appeal. Last Sunday, June 25th, Annie made an appeal to her local Quaker group, and does so each year, but that’s far from the only way she’s helped the BMA. Annie tells her own story here:

“I remember 1984 when the Bhopal disaster happened very clearly. I had been traveling in India quite a bit around that time and it was very high on my radar. In 1985 I was travelling on a train across central India and I remember the curve of the train approaching a city which (in retrospect) must have had a heat inversion over it – we seemed to be heading into a place with a dense, sinister looking cloud sitting right on top of it and I remember a chill of terror as we headed straight for it…

“Like many people, I suppose I thought it had been dealt with later. It was not until the early 2000s when the very effective publicity by the BMA reached me. I was horrified by what I read of the wholly inadequate compensation, the suffering of everyone in that area of the city and the callousness that has attended it on so many sides. So I decided to get involved in whatever small way I could – pledging a little every month to begin with. I was getting revved up to do the Cycle Bhopal sponsored event in 2005, and when it was cancelled and I was asked if I would run the London 10k instead, I thought – running, aaagh! Second thoughts were, this is a far more sustainable and sensible way of raising money than flying us lot out to India – stop being a wimp and get trotting. So I have run the 10k 5 times for Bhopal – with different friends, with my daughter Katy, then her sister Rachel with her partner Jack Thacker. Taking a break from running at the moment but I might have my arm twisted again one day…

“I am also a Quaker and a member of Reading Quaker Meeting. We have an appeal each week for funds towards charities which are either Quaker foundations or small causes, often ones in which members are involved. Every year Reading Meeting gives generously towards the Bhopal Medical Appeal – as do some other Quaker meetings. I find myself repeating a lot of the same information – but I think one of the things that sticks in everyone’s heart and moves all of us to rage and sorrow every year, is Dow’s complete lack of care or responsibility in clearing the site – the rusting, murderous pile that sits as a reminder half a mile from the Sambhavna clinic. It is the world’s most obvious monument to corporate greed, callousness and lack of impunity.”

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We believe Dow & DuPont must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.