Bhopal Medical Appeal

November 28, 2010 08:02 ET

Michael Eavis Becomes Patron of the Bhopal Medical Appeal as Bhopal Survivors Enter Their 26th Year of Their Fight for Justice

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2010) - English dairy farmer and founder of the Glastonbury Festival, Michael Eavis CBE has become the new patron of UK-based charity, the Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA) which funds the award-winning, free Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, India – site of the world's worst industrial disaster, the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak.

Following the BMA's growing volunteer litterpicker presence at Glastonbury – since 2004 the festival has donated over £27,000 to the charity in return for 'litterpicker hours' given – and in keeping with Mr. Eavis' strong commitment to charitable causes, he agreed to join the BMA in raising awareness of the second and very current disaster of water contamination.

He explained: 'It's hard to believe that after 26 years, the factory has not been cleaned up, and that people are still dying of the chemicals that the company left behind but it's true, and it's outrageous.'

'We have a duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I've always believed in working for the community, and that for me, is a global community. We all have a huge responsibility to help these people.'

Becky Moss, Communications & Information Officer for the BMA, said: 'We're thrilled to have Michael as our new patron. He's deeply respected for his down-to-earth values, as well as his love of music and creativity; he works hard and is open to new ideas – we're now developing a campaign to highlight the contaminated water in Bhopal for Glastonbury 2011.'

'Michael joins our existing patron – Jon Snow, journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News – in our third year of becoming an independent charity, which sees the launch of our new website, an education programme and a unique auction of special artworks by internationally-recognised artists, including Subodh Gupta, Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor.'

Bhopal survivors and supporters the world over will be lighting candles and torches on Thursday 2nd December to commemorate the victims of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster and to celebrate the spirit of those who continue to fight for clean water and proper healthcare.

Information on Michael Eavis

Michael Eavis, CBE is founder of the Glastonbury Festival. For more information about Michael Eavis, the history of the Glastonbury Festival and the 2011 event visit www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

Information on the Bhopal Medical Appeal

  1. The BMA represents the Bhopal survivors and the medical work in Bhopal. It arises from and is part of the survivors' struggle. Its inspiration and ideals come from the survivors.
  1. Healing and hope in Bhopal is won through suffering and struggle. There is a great deal of joy and laughter in Bhopal, but they are not the gift of foreign donors, they are the joy and laughter of people whose courage helped them to rise above their suffering, who established the clinic as an act of defiant self-help and as part of their struggle for justice and a life of dignity, and who want the medical knowledge gained from their horrific illnesses to serve other people throughout the world – hope and healing out of suffering.
  1. The Sambhavna Clinic is not 'your' or 'our' gift to the suffering in Bhopal, it is the survivors' gift to all of us. But you and I help to make it happen. By donating, volunteering, becoming involved, we shoulder part of the workload, we join them in the wonderful work that they began, that they are doing. Out of the living laboratories of their bodies have come non-drug therapies for diabetes, childhood asthma and menstrual problems which we can now share with others across the world. This is the gift of the Bhopal survivors to the world. Charity for us is an exchange of gifts.
  1. This understanding expresses itself in our communications, where many charities talk of 'us', 'you' and 'them': you (in the west) help 'us' (in the office) help 'them' (in the bush). In our communications 'we' means all of us together, survivors, staff in the clinic and in the UK, consultants, donors and supporters. We are a family together, all together, all equal. All in direct communication, and although our roles and responsibilities differ, no one is more important than anyone else.

Notes for editors

The Bhopal Medical Appeal logo is available on request to the BMA copyright-free.

To see Bhopal Medical Appeal litterpickers in action, visit our YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BhopalMedicalAppeal.

Photographs of the Bhopalis at the Sambhavna Clinic are available at www.bhopal.org.

Contact Information

  • Peter Finnigan, Executive Secretary and
    Becky Moss, Communications & Information Officer
    at the Bhopal Medical Appeal
    are available for interview on 01273 603278 (office hours)