Thirty years after the Bhopal gas disaster, countless children here are still suffering the consequences of the poisonous gas leak from the Union Carbide pesticide plant.
The victims are those who were born after 1984 to parents who were young when the gas leak took place on the night of Dec 2-3.
Taha, the two-year-old son of Shamshad Qureshi, a resident of Sudama Nagar, is unwell.
The young boy is staring at death as his spleen has become enlarged and he has blood cancer, his family says. The family spends over Rs.2,000 every month on his medication.
Qureshi told IANS: “The family is facing financial ruins. The boy was to be taken to Mumbai for treatment but we don’t have the money.”
Another child is Albez, 3. He suffers from a skin ailment due to which he develops blisters on his body every now and then.
The treatment is costly.
His father Anwar said: “My land and shop have been sold off. Albez could not be treated even in the hospital meant for gas victims.”
Harsh, another young Bhopal resident, can’t walk. Like all children, he too wants to run but can’t do so.
His father Shankar moaned that the gas leak has deprived Harsh of his childhood.
“Harsh is not the only child. There are thousands who are not able to lead a happy life,” he said.
Abdul Jabbar, an activist, said the gas which leaked from the Carbide plant had led to disease to people since birth.
The poisonous gas impacted kidneys, lungs, eyes and skin. Thousands of children were also born disabled.
Rachna Dhingra, who heads the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, said thousands of children had been impacted due to the gas although many were born post 1984.