Who are the Bhopal Medical Appeal?

UnionCarbideFactory

The abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Bhopal Medical Appeal is a small charity based in Brighton, England. We support and fund the only facilities in the Indian city of Bhopal that provide free and effective healthcare to the thousands still living in Union Carbide’s toxic shadow.

On 3rd December 1984, a cloud of toxic gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant and spread across the city of Bhopal, India. 8,000 people died within days. In the years since, the death toll has risen to more than 25,000. The site has never been cleaned up and the remaining toxic waste continues to contaminate the area. Dangerous levels of toxic chemicals are now found in the drinking water of many tens of thousands of people, which is Bhopal’s second disaster.

It became clear to Bhopal survivors and campaigners that the aid being provided by the Indian government was falling short of what was required, so our first project was to open a clinic in Bhopal. To this end, the Sambhavna Trust was formed in India to run such a clinic.  Sambhavna opened its doors to patients in 1996. To date the Sambhavna Clinic has treated more than 45,000 people. Sambhavna employs 57 staff, roughly a third of whom are themselves gas survivors. They carry out valuable studies, inform, educate and train people in gas-affected communities to monitor their health. Working to a principle of ‘first do no harm’ Sambhavna has pioneered new treatments combining Western medicine with traditional ayurvedic herbal medicine and yoga. Their work has won a string of humanitarian awards.

Sambhavna Clinic entrance

The Sambhavna Trust Clinic, Bhopal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later a new plot of land was bought to build a larger clinic, with a garden for the medicinal plants used in our treatments. Now we need to raise more money for the expanded work. We have never accepted funding from companies or corporate trusts. Companies and governments are directly responsible for the suffering of the Bhopal survivors. Always, they want something in return for their money. We will not deal with them. All the funds we have ever collected have come from kind donations. Sponsored runs contribute to this significantly.

As well as the Sambhavna Trust, the Bhopal Medical Appeal also makes grants to the Chingari Trust Rehabilitation Centre. One of the major functions of the Chingari Trust is the work committed towards supporting the families of the many children in Bhopal born today with various psychological and physical disabilities. The services offered at the Chingari Rehabilitation Center include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education and sports activities. There are over 400 children registered with the Chingari Trust and around 120 children come to the centre each day.

In the Bhopal Medical Appeal ‘we’ don’t ask ‘you’ to help ‘us’ help ‘them’. The Appeal and the Sambhavna and Chingari clinics are shared efforts between those of us who are survivors, those of us who run the clinics and the Appeal and those of us who support the effort with our money and by volunteering our skills or just our enthusiasm. This is our vision, that all of us are equal in an unbroken chain between supporters at one end and gas survivors at the other. Our sincere thanks to those who have been part of it. The people in Bhopal have a lot to give back to the rest of us. Let’s carry on the good work we’ve begun together.

NoMoreBhopals

A candlelight vigil, Bhopal ©Micha Patault

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about the work of The Bhopal Medical Appeal please click here

Interested in running for Bhopal? Please email us for more information at: run@bhopal.org