Bhopal children pay homage to gas leak dead
A total of 30 children with congenital disabilities caused due to the exposure of their parents to Union Carbide's poisons Friday paid homage to the people killed by the gas disaster of 1984 by lighting candles.
Through their candlelight vigil the children sought to highlight the ever present dangers of recurrence of the Bhopal disaster in other parts of the country and the world.
The parents of these children were exposed to poisonous gases in Dec 1984 or they drank water contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals from Union Carbide's hazardous wastes.
The children suffer from a range of disabilities including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, bone deformities, impaired hearing and speech and others.
They and about 120 others are availing facilities of physiotherapy, speech therapy, special education, occupational therapy and supplementary nutrition at the rehabilitation centre run by the Chingari Trust.
The Chingari Trust was started by two women survivors of the Bhopal disaster who were awarded the Goldman Environmental prize in 2004.
The women - Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla used the prize money of 125 thousand USD to set up Chingari Trust. The running cost of the rehabilitation centre is paid for through small donations from a large number of individual donors collected by Bhopal Medical Appeal, a charity in UK.
Members of the Chingari Trust stated that their work of last six years has demonstrated the possibility of bringing about significant improvement in the quality of life of the congenitally disabled children.
They expressed regret that that majority of such children are unable to receive any care due to the apathetic attitude of the state and central governments. --IBNS