The Remember Bhopal Museum is India’s first people’s museum commemorating the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, where a poisonous gas leak from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory killed thousands and maimed hundreds of thousands.
Funded by individual donations and philanthropic contributions, the Museum tells the story of the disaster and its aftermath. The survivors are the story tellers, and objects of deep personal memory contributed by them are the exhibits that trigger memories and gives viewers a sense of what happened, what followed and what is happening..
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy
On December 3rd, 1984, tons of toxic gases (Methyl-Iso-Cyanate or MIC) leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant and spread through the densely populated working class neighbourhood where it was located. Thousands died in their sleep and as they tried to flee the corrosive gas. As the Bhopalis say, the lucky ones died that night. Survivors had to suffer a life of pain, ill-health and debilitation as the poisons had hurt virtually every system in the body.
32 years later, survivors are still fighting for proper medical treatment, social support, environmental clean-up and for punishment of the guilty. But the state and central governments, and Union Carbide, now owned by Dow Chemical, would like to treat Bhopal as a closed chapter, as a page in history that ought to be forgotten.
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- It is India’s first and only museum capturing the horrors of the tragedy, and the courageous and creative ways in which the survivors fought for justice.
- It is funded solely by contributions from individuals and friendly organisations. The museum does not accept corporate funding or funds from the government.
- The survivors are the story-tellers. Accounts of the survivors are displayed without alterations of any kind.
- The initiative is led by survivors, and the display pieces are contributed by survivors.
- The museum is housed in a building owned by a gas-affected family, close to the Union Carbide factory
- At least 50 original audio recordings of gas survivors, doctors on duty on the fateful night, the forensic expert who conducted mass autopsies and those who survived the tragedy are cut into 3-minute audio loops and can be heard by picking up phone receivers hung on the walls
- Clothes, toys, tools and various personal objects belonging to those who are no longer with us have been collected from friends & families and displayed at the museum.
- The museum also makes another important statement of conservation without chemicals. Care has been taken to minimize the use of toxic chemicals.
The museum does not accept any government or corporate funds; so far it has survived on small, individual donations apart from funding from environmental and activist groups in India and abroad.
We only have enough funds to last us two months. Your contribution will be used to pay the salaries of the survivors who serve as staff at the museum, rent for the building and the maintenance of the displays and the space.
If we can raise money for the next two years, we plan to do another major fund-raiser to get money to move into a permanent space.