A victim of the Bhopal gas tragedy – Rashida Bee’s world changed drastically on the unfortunate night in December 1984. A leakage of
more than 27 tons of industrial poisonous gas led to the death of 8000 residents and a dark future for the coming generations in the city.Married at the young age of 13 to a man selected by her traditional Muslim family, Rashida lost six family members to cancer and was left to look after her father and husband all by herself. These tragic events drove her to take urgent action. Justice needed to be done not just for the loss of her own family but for all the survivors of the biggest industrial disaster in history.Rashida along with another victim, Champa Devi Shukla, who lost her husband and son to the tragedy as well, set up Chingari Trust. The Trust aims to help all the children born with various psychological and physical disabilities from exposure to the toxic gas of this event. They are now successfully leading an international campaign against Dow Chemical and its subsidiary Union Carbide.
Rashida is the worthy recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work in bringing the Bhopal disaster to the international stage.Today, she continues to fight for the rights of the children of the gas victims impacted to the horrendous event on 3rd December, 1984 -nearly 3 decades ago.
Quote: “Till I hadn’t gone out of her home, I was unaware of the world. But, now when I raised voice for lakhs of people, realized how powerful a woman is.”