Bhopal Gas Disaster and Dow Chemical: Need for CSR

Sandipa Lahiri Anand
2005 Social Science Research Network  
... All of a sudden he started coughing and in the meantime he heard screams coming from outside. As soon as my husband opened the door all we could see was smoke entering our house. Then everyone in my family started coughing and my kids started complaining of their eyes burning. Then we heard someone saying that we should all run because some gas pipe has exploded in the Union Carbide factory. We all started running and eventually I got separated from my family. I just remember not being able
more » ... mber not being able to locate my family and then after that I had lost consciousness." -Victim "There were thousands of bodies. There were bodies everywhere. And people were dying all round." -Victim ISSUE The Disaster at Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) plant on early morning of 3 rd Dec'1984, released 40 tons of poisonous methyl isocyanate 1 gas from its pesticide plant in Bhopal. The aftermath of the disaster left 15,000 dead, numerous ill, with a polluted environment that is yet to recover. Even after two decades, telltale signs of the disaster were evident. The victims of the disaster were yet to receive their compensation package and medical help from the company. This was an industrial disaster with a complexity of violations of civil, political, economic and social rights carried over a period of twenty years which necessarily demanded a humanitarian approach and called for corporate social responsibility (CSR) 2 . 1 A crystalline compound, C 2 H 3 NS, used as a pesticide. It is an extremely toxic chemical that can come in contact inhalation, ingestion and contact in quantities as low as 0.4 ppm. Damage includes coughing, chest pain, dyspnea, asthma, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat as well as skin damage. 2 CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.752784 fatcat:afps3pkxrrejvniyl7bpxpsspa