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UK Assembly member opposes 2012 Olympics Dow sponsorship

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By Zafar Alam Khan

More trouble is brewing up for the Dow Chemicals sponsored London Olympics 2012 as the boycott call by the gas victims’ relatives, survivors and the organisations working for their welfare got a shot in their arm through support from an unexpected ally, a member of the Greater London Assembly Navin Shah.

Shah who is in India for a family function and would be visiting the State capital on Friday while talking to The Pioneer from Ahmedabad over the issue said, “It is ethically wrong to get sponsorship from a company which is responsible for homicide of hundreds of Indian fellows and is not responding to Indian apex court orders.” Shah who represents Brent and Harrow constituency in  North West London further said, “I represent a  constituency of London that has a sizeable population of Indians. Londoners have principles that are based on ethics and moral code and if we are serious about London and its reputation than we should oppose the wrong and unethical sponsors of the games that are going to be held in our city.”

He said, “These Olympics were meant to be about a fitter Britain, but they’ve got a series of sponsors associated with ill-health and death. You’ve got Coca Cola, you’ve got MacDonalds hamburgers which are the key culprits for childhood obesity, and now you’ve got Dow that was once responsible for killing hundreds of people. It’s just a grotesque contradiction in terms to talk about the Olympics, but to have so many sponsors who have negative connotations when it actually comes to good health.”

Shah said that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has “got it wrong” and Dow sponsorship is unethical and immoral. The LOCOG has awarded the contract to build the decorative wrapping on the Olympic Stadium to Dow.

The London Olympics 2012 boycott call over the sponsorship by Dow Chemicals given by the organisations working for survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal has started gaining momentum. Former Olympians from the country were the first to extend their support for the cause that was followed by politicians including the Chief Minister and the latest to join the bandwagon is none other than the member of the Greater London Assembly, Navin Shah.

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2nd December 2011