Children of DOW’s Chemicals

Dr Neil Anderson

Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind

Union Carbide's Second Poisoning of Bhopal

"Officially MIC is classified as about twice as lethal as cyanide...[beyond the eyes and lungs]...the liver is fairly badly affected, the spleen is very badly affected...and finally the kidney seems to be severely affect... and something that doesn't get better over time, it seems to get worse."

Bullies have thrown stones at him and hurt him. Poor Raju. He makes an easy target. Twelve years old with the mental age of a toddler. He shambles. He’s bald. His hair began to fall when he was three. He has webbed fingers. Webbed toes too. His tormentors call him ‘baldy’ and ‘monkey’. They choose heavy, sharp stones and let fly.

Shanu was twelve years old when she died. The cancer that consumed her eyeball had left her in perpetual agony. Tear tracks shone beneath the hideous monstrosity that was once her eye. There is nothing more to be said about this. Stories of damaged children coming out of Bhopal tear at our hearts. We try to tell the world. What words can be found?

Adil is a normal teenager, except that he will never walk. His legs are withered, too weak to carry him. To get about he must crawl on his hands and knees. He bears his fate cheerfully. On the night of the gas disaster, the as-yet-unborn Adil’s family lived 200 yards from the Union Carbide factory, so close that his mother used to say it was a miracle she survived. ‘I am so lucky,’ she’d say, little knowing what the factory had in store for an encore – a slower, hidden terror.

The Bhopal Medical Appeal's ongoing work depends entirely upon the compassion and fellowship of ordinary people, as well as contributions by trusts and philanthropic groups. From volunteering at the Sambhavna Clinic or holding a fundraising event, to taking on a challenge activity or making a donation, your support is critical in enabling our clinics to continue providing free medical relief for those still suffering in Bhopal.

"As an example of a holistic, environmentally-sound, community-focused and patient-centred approach to healthcare, the Sambhavna Clinic is way ahead of anything I have ever visited or worked in, anywhere in the world."

Dr John Hurst, Senior Lecturer, Honorary Consultant, UCL Medical School / Royal Free Hampstead NHS, London