Popularly known as Jabbar Bhai, activist Abdul Jabbar’s life was a fight for justice for the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy, which is one of the most infamous disasters ever happened in the world
For 35 long years, Jabbar has stood with the victims and fought for their rights and the government has now rewarded his service with Padma Shri Award posthumously. Jabbar, who himself was a victim of the gas tragedy of 1984, breathed his last on November 14, 2019.
Three years after the tragedy, he set up the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan in 1987. The Sangathan was formed to demand compensation and sustenance allowance for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims, especially widows. He is also credited with imparting vocational training to as many as 5,000 survivor women at his Swabhiman Kendra, which is an economic rehabilitation centre. The Swabhiman Kendra has been established for the upliftment of the victims, especially the women.
Jabbar was in the forefront for staging several agitations and protest marches for getting the rights of the victims. Despite apathy from various State and Central Governments, he ensured that the struggle that he had taken up will never die and would be taken up by others.
Jabbar was also instrumental in filing a number of legal cases that had led to the authorities to provide compensation and health services to the victims. At present, his petition for five times compensation to the gas tragedy victims is pending before the Supreme Court.
On the award, Abdul Jabbar’s wife Saira Banu said that the Padma Shri was an honour to them and expressed her sadness that Jabbar was not with her to receive the award. She also said that the victims were his family and had lived all his life for them. She had also told the media that no one had helped her husband when he was ill and when the government had extended help, he was no more in this world.