A long walk in India has been a dream of mine for almost three years now. I first proposed the idea to an Indian friend of mine - asking her if such an endeavor was feasible. She seemed puzzled, to say the least, and was maybe beginning to wonder if she had seriously misjudged my capacity for common sense. "India has a wonderful train system," she offered helpfully, as if she were tactfully informing me that there were alternative methods of travel available in that country. Indeed, this is a reaction I get from many people when I tell them that I have now walked over 6000 miles, most of which were accumulated in big chunks during long forays into the wilderness areas of the United States.
I find I can justify most of my walking through the simple fact that I find walking life to be a better life. On the India walk, however, there's another reason why I'm traveling on foot: to raise money for the Sambhavna Clinic, which provides free medical care to the victims and children of the Bhopal gas leak, the single largest industrial disaster of all time.
Follow me on my blog at http://andrewbones.weebly.com/blog.html
Listen to the song I wrote about Bhopal, "Won't Go Quietly," here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfVLcZVouLA
If you like the song, consider donating as payment for it and I'll send you the MP3.
Here's the blurb from the bhopal.org website about the Bhopal incident:
Just after midnight, on the night of 2nd/ 3rd December 1984, a catastrophic gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India saw the beginning of the worst industrial disaster in history. It has come to be known as the Hiroshima of the chemical industry.
40 tonnes of deadly methyl isocyanate gas, used in the manufacture of the pesticide Sevin, spewed from the plant into the surrounding areas. The effect on the people living in the shanty settlements, just over the fence, was immediate and devastating.
Many died in their beds, others staggered from their homes, blinded and choking, to die in the street. Many more died later after reaching hospitals and emergency aid centres. The best, accepted estimates say that 8-10,000 people died within the first 72 hours.
Since that day at least another 15,000 people have died as a result of their exposure to the toxic gas and another 120,000 have chronic medical conditions that require constant healthcare.