Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zehreeli Hawa!

Yes, we are on this new production now. Bhopal, an English play written Rahul Verma. There was also an adaptation in Hindi by the Late. Habib Tanvir. We Read through the script and it was really really powerful and I was so touched!

The Bhopal gas tragedy was one of the worst industrial disasters in the world. The 3rd of Dec, 1984 witnessed the most tragic Chemical Accidents that happened in the Indian Subcontinent. Union Carbide Pesticide in Bhopal Manufactures the Pesticide Carbaryl under the brand name Sevin. Sevin is a pesticide which kills the insects by attacking their central nervous system. Methyl Isothiocyanide is one of the intermediate products in the manufacturing process. On 3-Dec-2009, explosion occured in one of the tanks which stored 42 Tonnes of MIC due to excessive Temperature and pressure.

The most important question is that why is MIC used when there are other chemicals which are less toxic in nature. Even if it is used, Why should it be stored in such large containers? It is expected that MIC is to be maintained at a temperature of 4 Degree Celsius whereas it was stored at 20 degree Celsius. The company had compromised refrigeration an attempt to cut costs. Ridiculous! None of the Safety measures were in place!

The immediate death toll due to the Gas expulsion is 2000 plus. the next day it was around 3500. Finally, 25000 causalities are reported after the gas leak on the whole. It was a disaster comparable to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki. The victims of the disaster did not only bear the ill effects of the accident but also the after effects, which they, and their progeny are still suffering.

The story of Bhopal revolves around a few imaginary characters of the plot.

Izzat - a slum dweller as a represntative sample from the hundreds of affected villagers.

Soniya Labonte - A Canadian NGO doctor whose research brought to the light, the ill-effects Carbide International was injecting into the environment.

Devraj Sarthi - The CEO of Carbide in Bhopal.

Madiha Akram - The Personal Secretary of Sarthi

Jaganlal - The Cheif Minister

a very powerfully woven plot it is, touching in its own way, let me not divulge any more information, see for yourself!