Saturday, March 9, 2013

Remembering Fukushima: Lessons for India

A citizens' convention on "Remembering Fukushima: Lessons for India” is being organised on March 11th 2013, marking the second year of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. (We use 'beginning' advisedly, because the accident has not ended and is still very much continuing.)

The reactors are still emitting radiation, the site is still contaminated and will remain so for decades, people evacuated are afraid of returning back, news about contamination vegetables and animals are pouring in, and mutations detected in the area are being investigated. In a recent scientific investigation, butterflies, which are believed to be resistant to radioactivity, were found to have mutated due to radioactivity exposure in Fukushima. More cases are under observation.

The Fukushima catastrophe reveals the hazards of the nuclear energy industry. It also exposes the criminal nexus between the global nuclear industry, regulators and politicians. Fukushima holds many cautionary lessons for India, which has plans to raise its nuclear power generation several-fold in the near future.

The convention is being organised jointly by a number of citizens' groups, students' organisations, solidarity groups, human rights initiatives, trade unions, and women's organisations. The Women's Development Cell (WDC) of the Miranda House College in Delhi University is hosting and co-organising the event.

A panel discussion will be organised with following speakers:

- Prashant Bhushan, senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India.

- Dr. Vikas Bajpai, radiation oncologist and public health expert.

- Praful Bidwai, eminent journalist and peace activist.

- S P Udayakumar, leader of the Koodankulam movement, via skype

- Chie Matsumoto, an activist from Japan will speak about life in Japan after the nuclear accident, via skype.

The panel discussion will be followed by some cultural performances including a mime. A photo exhibition on Fukushima will also be put up on the venue. This photo exhibition will also be displayed at prominent places in Delhi like Dilli Haat, Central Park, JNU etc. between 8th-11th March 2013.

The Citizens' Convention will culminate into a candle light commemoration.

Date: 11th March, Venue: Miranda House Auditorium, Delhi University, Time: 3pm - 6pm

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), Indian Doctors for Peace and Democracy (IDPD), New Socialist Initiative (NSI), New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), National Alliance of People's Movement (NAPM), All India Students' Association (AISA), Popular Education and Action Centre (PEACE), Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Delhi Forum, Delhi Platform, Focus on the Global South, Inter Cultural Resources, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association (JTSA), Students Against Nuclear Energy (SANE), Toxics Watch Alliance, Greenpeace India


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