It was 26 years ago, 1984, that a factory owned by the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) spewed out a highly toxic gas into the air around a chemical plant. It was about midnight on the 2/3 December in Bhopal, India.
That very night thousands of people died in probably the worst industrial disaster in the world.
Through the ensuing 25 years many many thousands more have died from illnesses caused by the gas and its after effects. After the gas dispersed the ground itself was polluted and, of course, the water, which has now affected the ground water supplies to the region. No-one can really know how wide this will spread the pollution. Children still play in the water where it lies on the ground and drink it because, so often, even these days, there is no other option. And the plant continues to pollute. The local authority of Madhya Pradesh provides a limited number of tankers of water but even that has been polluted with e-coli since it is collected near a sewage channel and it reaches fewer than an estimated 20% of the population.
So there is no safe place.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people are chronically sick from the effects of that night and in addition 30,000 are ill from polluted water, including second and third generation children. The plant and surrounding area have never been cleaned up and no action has been taken against the company. In June 2010, 8 former employees (all local men) were convicted of causing “death by negligence” – the first and only convictions of anyone involved. One of the 8 died some years ago and several are in their 70s. The main people responsible are nowhere near being brought to justice.
In 2001 Union Carbide was bought by Dow Chemicals and that company refused to take on any responsibility for which UCC may have been liable in Bhopal. The company was happy to take on UCC assets but refused to take on the liabilities.
All the people affected are in the poor category and so cannot afford medical treatment or even to move away.
There is only one place they can go for help. It is the Sambhavna Clinic which is located near the affected people in the north of Bhopal. Here they can receive care and treatment free of charge with a mix of allopathic and ayurvedic therapies (for which they grow most of the herbs), massage and yoga. And they have a great record of success with children and adults alike.
The clinic is funded solely by public donations through The Bhopal Medical Appeal here in the UK. The government of India has approved plans to provide funds but the system is so corrupt it is doubtful how much will reach the clinic. The charity is a small-scale charity operating from a single office in Brighton.
I have volunteered to go to the clinic in Bhopal and work alongside the staff there, offering Spineworks and Reiki treatments as well as other general tasks such as work in the gardens growing the ayurvedic herbs. Any donation you make will further the valuable work of this small charity.Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.