Target: Prakash Javadekar, India Minister of Environment and Forests
Goal: Halt harmful mining operations until proper disposal methods are implemented
Rural residents in the eastern state of Jharkhand, India are facing a health crisis due to the radioactive pollution produced at three nearby uranium mines. Years ago when the mines arrived in the area, the residents had no idea of the potentially fatal side effects of close exposure to radioactive waste. Now that they have been warned of the toxic potential, it could be too late for many of the villages afflicted by chronic illness and disease.
The toxic byproducts of uranium mining are often dumped close to roads and villages due to a lack of proper disposal practices at the government-owned mines. Radiation-related disease such as birth deformities, sterility, spontaneous miscarriage, and cancer have now reached crisis levels in some of these areas, with levels up to nine times higher than in other areas of the country. Respiratory ailments, infant death, and chronic lung disease are also rampant in the state.
Separate studies conducted by multiple institutions, including universities in Japan and India, have concluded that the air, water, and soil is polluted in many regions close to the mines. Radiation has contaminated drinking water stores, plant life, and local wildlife, causing a high level of pollution in villagers’ diets. Despite this, the government mines continue to operate unhindered, abiding by few health and safety regulations.
In order to halt the progress of this urgent crisis, immediate action by the Indian government is necessary. Your signature will demand that all uranium mining operations in Jharkhand are stopped until proper disposal regulations are implemented and cleanup of the pollution has begun.
Dear Prakash Javadekar,
A crisis is developing in the eastern state of Jharkhand due to radioactive pollution from surrounding government-run uranium mines. These mines are subject to few regulations which limit where they can dispose of waste, therefore allowing toxic chemicals to pollute many inhabited areas.
This pollution, which is present in the air, soil, and water, is having detrimental effects on the population. They suffer from birth defects, sterility, spontaneous miscarriage, high instances of infant and child death, as well as chronic respiratory ailments including silicosis and lung cancer.
Subjecting citizens to high risk of illness and death due to the reckless pollution of their homes and food sources is unfair and cruel. The government of India must immediately step up to ensure that proper regulations are put in place to ensure the safe disposal of toxic mining waste. I demand that efforts are made not only to stop the pollution of living areas, but to clean up the damage that has already been done.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alberto Otero Garc via Creative Commons