07 Aug,2016

IDPD Nationwide Campaign on “Health Through Peace”

New Delhi, 7th August 2016 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 nurses died and 42 of 45 hospitals were destroyed. There was complete lack of medical care. High dose of radiations added to the chaos. It is difficult to imagine how it must have been to watch nears and dears melt in a matter of seconds as a result of intense heat produced by the detonation. Describing this Dr Arun Mitra Senior Vice President Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) at a memorial meeting organized by the IDPD at New Delhi said that it was very heartrending to see the devastation caused by the atomic bombs during our visit to the Peace Memorial at Hiroshima. Prof. Arjun Dev a prominent historian of the country said that with the surrender of Germany the war had nearly ended on 9thMay 1945. Surrender of Japan was imminent in a few weeks time. But Hiroshima was bombarded with atomic weapon followed by Nagasaki after three days. While lakhs were crying in despair in the two cities, the American administration rejoiced over this barbarous act. Use of atomic weapons on human population by the US was a show of strength and muscle power which in fact unleashed the nuclear arms race. It is assumed that there are nearly 17000 nuclear weapons on earth today. Not only the number of weapons increased but the number of countries which posses these weapons also increased from one to nine i.e USA, Russia, Britain, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel. If we add Ukraine, the number becomes ten. At one time South Africa also had nuclear weapons but it disbanded them unilaterally. The nuclear weapons are a real threat to not only the man kind but the whole flora and fauna on earth. Dr Usha Shrivastav Vice President IDPD said that we are witnessing every day violent actions by highly motivated individuals and groups around the world who are ready to kill the innocent without any remorse. The world has become highly insecure and fragile. Therefore even if the states decide not to use the nuclear weapons, there is a grave danger that these could fall in the hands of non state actors who with their utterly insane outlook would not hesitate using them. Unfortunately India and Pakistan with very low human development index have fallen trap which is adversely affecting their economy. Expressing concern over the impact of nuclear fall out Maj. Gen. Retd. Vinod Saighal said that this will have serious consequences on the climate change. Quoting a study by Ira Helfand, Co President of IPPNW on Climate Consequences of Regional Nuclear War he pointed out that even a limited nuclear war could put over two billion people at risk. Based on a hypothetical study as an example, a war between India and Pakistan involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs, would kill up to 20 million people outright. Com Pallab Sen Gupta General Secretary All India Peace and Solidarity organization (AIPSO) said that the danger of nuclear weapons exists as before. The statement by the presidential candidate of the USA Donald Trump is a very serious matter. The civil society has to work even more than before to build public opinion against the nuclear weapons.

Com Amarjeet Kaur National Secretary AITUC called upon the IDPD to organize public contact programmes on “public health and peace” so as to take the movement down to the grass root level. Dr Dori Lall said that nuclear weapons abolition is the only answer to save the mankind. A concerted and united effort by the people can ameliorate the situation. Dr Ajay Mishra and Prof. Soma Marla also addressed the meeting