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Para-athletes ask government to boycott London Games

February 01, 2012 13:33 IST

Amid growing chorus against Dow Chemicals's association with the upcoming London Olympics, a group of para-athletes urged the government to boycott the event unless the contentious company was dropped as a sponsor.

"All Indian para-athletes should boycott London Paralympics 2012 until Dow Chemical is dropped as a sponsor," 2004 Athens Paralympian and secretary of the Haryana Paralympic Association, Girraj Singh, said on Wednesday.

"The Indian Olympics Association (IOA) and Sports Ministry of India should show much stronger protests against this sponsorship," insisted Girraj, who was accompanied by Asian Games participants Trivendan Singh and Sonu Gupta and IWAS World Games participants Bharat Kumar and Pradeep Raj.

The para-athletes also signed Lorraine Close's petition calling on Sebastian Coe to drop the Dow Chemical as sponsors.

Meanwhile, Bhopal campaigner Satinath Sarangi, who also joined the para-athletes, said "sponsorship by a criminal corporation such as Dow Chemical is against the very spirit of the Olympics".

"The petition on change.org is a reflection that people across the globe are concerned about the image of the Olympics. Lord Coe is not only doing a disservice to the Bhopal victims, he is betraying all who are part of the Olympic movement," he said.

The boycott call by the Para-athletes is the latest in a series of protests associated with campaigns launched on Change.org.

The first campaign, started by the British nurse Lorraine Close, calls on organisers to drop the chemical company as sponsor and has more than 18,500 signatories.

Campaigners claim that the company is not a suitable sponsor as they have a history of corporate negligence and that they are responsible for the clean-up of the site on which the industrial disaster took place in 1984 in Bhopal.

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