***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
Almost 30,000 views, over 19,000 emails, not one peep from Minister Anil Dave.
As part of phase 2 of the #UnileverPollutes campaign, Jhatkaa.org and the Chennai Solidarity Group launched an action last month asking people to write to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOEFCC) urging new Environment Minister Anil Dave to ensure a world-class clean up for Kodaikanal. The action page can be found here.
Although 591 ex-workers of the thermometer factory in Kodaikanal have been compensated by Unilever, the company is yet to clean up the toxic mercury contamination inside and near their thermometer factory, which continues to slowly poison forests and water bodies in the Kodaikanal.
The email campaign was followed by the launch of a video by Rapper Sofia Ashraf earlier this month. In the video, Sofia challenges some of Unilever’s biggest misleading statements. You can watch the video at this link.
“As of today, over 19,000 emails have been sent to Minister Anil Dave and his secretaries at the Environment Ministry. And Sofia’s video has almost 30,000 views on YouTube. And we haven’t heard a single peep from the new Environment Minister on this issue” says Divya Narayanan, a Campaigner at Jhatkaa.org.
“The Minister needs to state clearly that he will not allow Unilever to get away with a substandard clean-up. All we are asking is for the law to be followed, and for the Central Pollution Control Board to follow its own guidelines to arrive at the clean-up standard,” said Nityanand Jayaraman of Chennai Solidarity Group.
“After the launch of the email campaign and the video, hundreds of tweets were directed at Minister Anil Dave urging him to ensure a thorough clean up of Kodaikanal. The video was also covered by major online and traditional media. And we still haven’t heard from the ministry. It is important that the Minister condemn Unilever's double standards. We hope that he will extend his cooperation to the Government of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board so that the Kodaikanal site is cleaned up to the highest standards.” she adds.
Jhatkaa.org is a campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways. Jhatkaa.org helps people take action collectively on issues that interest or affect them, and create change that would not be possible if they acted alone. Jhatkaa.org also collaborates with civil society to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural and government leaders accountable in real time at key decision moments through various digital communication platforms. Read more about Jhatkaa.org’s victories and press hits.
Chennai Solidarity Group is a volunteer-run campaign collective that supports the Kodaikanal residents in their efforts to ensure world-class remediation of Unilever’s mercury contaminated site. Its members have been part of the campaign to hold Unilever accountable since 2001.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +91 9884 521 072
Mobile: +91 9444082401