Silent Sunday: Noooo

Yesterday was our Independence day. This morning after reading an article in “The Hindu” I asked myself “Are we really independent”?  And why was so?

The serene view of the Kodaikanal hills from the ‘Coaker’s Walk’ hides a tale of melancholy and everyday struggle.

‘Kodaikanal Won’t’, a groovy rap video released by the NGO Jhatkaa.org, is the latest social media anthem that highlights the popular outcry against the alleged mercury contamination in Kodaikanal by Hindustan Unilever’s thermometer factory.

In the UK, the permissible mercury level is 1mg/kg whereas the company wants a standard of 20-25mg/kg of soil here. By its own estimation, it let out 1.2 tonnes of mercury into the Pambar Shola forests. This is environmental colonialism,” says environment activist Nityanand Jayaraman,
The mainstream media had turned a blind eye to the pleas of the workers, says environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman.

Thanks to Sofia Ashraf, the Chennai-based rapper for a YouTube video. ‘Kodaikanal Won’t’, a groovy rap video released by the NGO Jhatkaa.org, is the latest social media anthem.

Do watch this  “Kodiakanal Won’t”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSal-ms0vcI

References:

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/will-the-mist-lift-in-kodaikanal/article7544562.ece?homepage=true
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/how-the-kodaikanal-wont-video-went-viral/article7500019.ece

Timeline:

2001 TNPCB shuts down the HUL thermometer factory after sale of mercury contaminated glass to scrap dealers is detected. Health study of workers done
2003 Large amount of mercury scrap sent back to the U.S.
2006 Ex-employees move Madras High Court against Unilever. Health effects such as miscarriages, kidney and nervous system damages, mental disability in children etc. stated
2011 Committee constituted by Ministry of Labour concludes there was prima facie evidence of mercury-related ailments in workers
2015 Unilever CEO Paul Polman says he is determined to solve the issue after international focus following rap song
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