Since a long time, there is an anger running around the country and world against the company Unilever and its Global CEO Paul Polman. The worldwide attention prompted Unilever CEO Paul Polman to promise speedy resolution of the twin legacies of rehabilitating affected ex-workers and cleaning up the contaminated environment.
But! Both the issues remain unresolved till date. The campaign has gone viral among the masses and people have gathered and joined hands to boycott the company. #WontBuyUnilever is the hashtag/trend to make it reach to everyone which reflects to not to buy a single product which belongs to the Unilever.
This whole campaign is running for the win over Unilever that it takes the responsibility for its mercury-related liabilities and poisoning in Kodaikanal and brings the speedy resolution at the earliest take. Unilever and Paul Polman have been ignoring the workers for the past 14 years.
Mercury is a brain-damaging, birth defects causing nerve poison; that it is so poisonous that it should not be handled or inhaled, even touched. Mercury targets the Central Nervous System – the brain – and the kidneys and is particularly harmful to developing fetuses and children. On land or in waterbodies, it transforms into a lethal form called methyl mercury. Methyl mercury can enter the food chain and magnify several million times to deadly levels in predatory fish. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, one gram of mercury discharged annually into a 20 acre water body is sufficient to render the lake fish unfit for consumption.
And guess what? Workers didn’t know about it all. Unilever has dumped the mercury wastes in a Kodaikanal scrapyard and in the forests behind its thermometer factory. Unilever continues to deny of doing the same, but the fact is they have done that.
On March 7, 2001, irate residents and environmental activists marched to the factory gates demanding its closure. Unilever maintained the same of denying any wrongdoing. With the fact, Unilever has discharged more than 1.3 tonnes of mercury into the watershed forests behind its factory, but as always claims that this is a false allegation and has no significance.
On the issue of cleaning up the factory site, Unilever is pushing TNPCB to accept its proposal for a substandard clean up. Rather than restore the factory to its original condition — as has been insisted upon and successfully done by other polluters in other countries — Unilever is proposing a clean-up that will leave the “cleaned up” factory site with 250 times more mercury than naturally occurring background levels in that area.
The revolution has begun. This outrage will put force over the Unilever’s Global CEO Paul Polman to put the words into action and accept this torment done by the Unilever.
Tweet with the hashtag #WontBuyUnilever and share the message: “@PaulPolman I #WontBuyUnilever till ex-workers are honourably compensated & Kodaikanal is cleaned up via @jhatkaa.”
Also, sign the petition and register to the protest by visiting http://www.jhatkaa.org/wontbuyunilever or giving a missed call on 08880109020.
Let it go viral among the masses. Let us prevail the humanity!
I read. I write. A threat to humor, if one liners could kill. Twitter: @profylayush
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