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'Bhopal Gas Tragedy Museum Testifies Victims' Agony, It Shouldn't Shut Down'

'I'm sad to hear that the museum is going to shut down soon because of the financial crisis.'

Published
My Report
4 min read

Video Producers: Maaz Hasan, Vishnukant Tiwari
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam

3 December 2022 was the 38th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster that struck Bhopal, the impact of which can be seen even today.

On that very night in 1984, at least 30 tonnes of Methyl Incocynate (MIC) leaked from the factory of Union Carbide (India) Ltd, a subsidiary of the American company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The poisonous gas killed over 15,000 people and affected around 6,00,000 people. Even today, children who are born to these survivors suffer from physical disabilities.

Thousands died in 1984 gas leak from the factory of Union Carbide India Ltd.

(Photo: Remember Bhopal Museum)

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In memory of these victims, Remember Bhopal Museum was built in 2014 to tell the stories of the victims' pain, struggle, and horror. I visited the museum on 11 December, and was sad to hear that the museum is going to shut down soon because of the financial crisis.

Nafisa Bi, a victim of the tragedy and the museum's caretaker, told me that the museum has not been able to pay the property’s rent for 11 months.

Children born even today suffer from disbilities. 

(Photo: Remember Bhopal Museum)

"The donations we receive from visitors and foreigners run the museum, and our salaries are also paid through that donations. The museum is struggling with the financial crisis."
– Nafisa Bi, Caretaker, Remember Bhopal Museum

Over 15,000 people were killed by the toxic Mythyl Isocynate gas

(Photo: Remember Bhopal Museum)

As the citizens of Bhopal who are born in the next generation, it will be unfortunate if the museum closes down, as it will erase the painful history of Bhopal from our minds.

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"This museum has five rooms. The first room is dedicated to those who lost their lives. The second room shows the water pollution caused by the gas leak. The third room offers the conditions of the children born to gas victims. The children are born with disabilities. The fourth room tells the story of the protest that we did. The fifth room talks about our march from Bhopal to Delhi. It shows our days of struggle at Jantar Mantar. "
– Nafisa Bi, Caretaker, Remember Bhopal Museum

The audio museum has several telephone handsets. One can hear the story of the trauma that survivors have gone through. I picked one of the handsets kept beside a green sweater. It was the audio of a survivor named Moolchand.

These telephone handsets have the recorded voices of survivors. Between the handsets lies a photograph of Moolchand's family.

(Photo: Remember Bhopal Museum)

"Her name was Pooja. She was three years old. This is the sweater that she used to wear. I lost my two kids on 3-4 December (1984). At around 2-2:30 pm, I brought the dead body of my child, Rakesh. Later, at about 8 pm, my daughter Pooja died. She had curly hair and used to look like a foreigner. Everybody used to love her a lot."
– Moolchand, Survivor

For the last 38 years, survivors have carried out several protest demanding justice for themselves and their loved ones.

(Photo: Remember Bhopal Museum)

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There was another beautiful dress kept in the museum. It belonged to Bano Bi. Bano Bi was a newly wedded bride. Her husband brought her this gorgeous dress on 3 December (1984).

Her husband requested her several times to wear the dress that day, but Bano Bi didn't wear saying that she would wear it the next day after taking a bath. But unfortunately, she has not been able to wear the dress even today. Bano's husband was also killed in the gas leak.

The museum's rooms are a testimony to the suffering of the people of Bhopal. It's a memorial that talks about the struggle and symbolise to the world that incidents like this should never happen. Shutting down the museum is a significant loss.

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(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from my-report

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