Monday, August 7, 2017

Declare nuclear weapons illegal-IDPD

Ludhiana Seminar urged India and Pakistan 
Ludhiana: 6th August 2017: (Punjab Screen Bureau)::
Nuclear weapons biggest public health hazard- Opportunity to prevent now Indian and Pakistan urged to support the UN treaty declaring nuclear weapons illegal
People from all walks of life including doctors, lawyers, teachers, women, youth, students and trade unionists etc. at a seminar held at Circuit House, Ludhiana today through a unanimously adopted resolution called upon the governments of India and Pakistan to join the United Nations Treaty legally binding the nations to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination. The UN resolution adopted by 122 votes in favour and only one against declared the nuclear weapons possession, development, sale, keeping them on launch as illegal. This is a big step forward towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons from earth. Ironically the nuclear weapon states did not join the deliberations.
Addressing the seminar Dr Arun Mtira – Senior Vice President IDPD said that the tiny atomic bombs (as per the standards of the present day nuclear weapons) killed around 140,000 people in Hiroshima and nearly 70,000 in Nagasaki and roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. Out of 300 doctors 272 died; 1684 of 1780 died and 42 of 45 hospitals were destroyed. There was complete lack of medical care. High dose of radiations added to the woes. It is assumed that there are nearly 17000 nuclear weapons on earth today which are enough to destroy all the flora and fauna several times over. A hypothetical study named  “Bombing Bombay”  by M. V. Ramana, a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University, reveals that even a small bomb, such as the one used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would kill from 150,000 to 800,000 (8 lakh) people. Up to 2,000,000 (20 lakh) people would be injured. Besides this there would be large amount of collateral damage causing chaos all around.  The radiation effect will last for many years to come.
Dr Balbir Shah  gave a heart-rendering description of destruction by the nuclear weapons through poetry by Sahir  and expressed sadness that unfortunately the world has not learnt lesson and nuclear weapons continue to remain on earth.
Dr Bharti Uppal, quoting the study by Dr Ira Helfand, Co President of IPPNW on Climate Consequences of Regional Nuclear War pointed out that even a limited nuclear war could put over two billion people at risk globally. Based on a study with an example, a war between India and Pakistan involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs, would kill up to 20 million people outright.
Prof. Jagmohan Singh said that methodology should be evolved by the civil society to force the nuclear weapon states to abide by the decision of the UN General Assembly. 
M S Bhatia – Co-Convener Social Thinkers Forum said that people cannot be made to suffer at the whims of the military industrial complex. India and Pakistan are amongst the countries with very low indicators on human development index. Our people desperately need health and education. The arms race must be stopped and money diverted for development.
Through another resolution it was requested to the government of Punjab that this subject should be made part of the curriculum for school students. 
Others who addressed include Dr Sanjeev Uppal, Dr S K Prabhaker, Mrs Kusum Lata, Ranjit Singh, D P Maur, Vicky Mahesri, Deepak Kumar etc.

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