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Himself a victim, Jabbar fought for, led largest group of Union Carbide gas leak survivors

By Sheshu Babu*
Another anniversary of Bhopal Gas tragedy will pass by next month but still many poor people are suffering the after effects of the release of poisonous gas. Many activists are still engaged in struggle for justice. One of the oldest activists, Abdul Jabbar led the largest group of survivors of the Union Carbide gas leak in 1984.
Abdul Jabbar taught people how to mobilize and fight for justice till his last breath and demand jobs, compensation, monthly pension and medical relief. "There are two kinds of struggles here in Bhopal", Jabbar recalled  in an oral exhaustive history interview in 2014. "One is a quest for self- reliance. The other is against the injustice of the government ..."
In the past three months, though he had severe ailments including diabetes, he could not get proper treatment in Bhopal super speciality hospital. He passed away before the Madhya Pradesh government proposed to airlift him to Mumbai on November 19, as reported by his close friends.
Jabbar lost his mother, father and brother to one of the world's worst industrial disasters, and he himself suffered lung fibrosis also lost 50 per cent of vision due to the accident. He never stopped fighting for justice. In 1987, he started the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghatan, one of the organizations championing the cause of the victims of the incident. His group fought not only for allowances and pensions to widows but also employment opportunities to the victims.
Jabbar passed away before the Madhya Pradesh government proposed to airlift him to Mumbai on November 19
He was famous as 'Jabbar Bhai' to the old city residents many of whom were affected by the tragedy. In his lifetime, he imparted vocational training to around 5,000 women so that they could earn a livelihood for their families.  At the time of the fatal accident, he was 27 and worked as construction worker. He tried to save as many residents as possible from the clutches of Mythl Iso cyanide.
He led many protest marches even in Delhi and brought to limelight the problems faced by the victims. His struggle for adequate compensation is still to be achieved. His zeal to march forward should be continued till final settlement is granted to the satisfaction of all the victims. The slogan "Hum Bhopal ki Naari Hain, Phool Nahi Chingari Hain" should continue to inspire the women seeking quick Justice to end their woes.
He was a great optimist. "Ladenge! Jeetenge! " was his tireless slogan. 'We will fight and win' was his courageous way of struggle that would inspire not only gas victims but also future generations who need to take firm stand against corruption, government apathy and injustice
---
*The writer from everywhere and anywhere, supports civil liberties

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