Chingari Rehabilitation Centre



Champadevi Shukla and Rashida Bee

As well as the Sambhavna Trust, the Bhopal Medical Appeal also makes grants to the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre. The Chingari Trust was founded in 2006 when two Bhopal survivors, Rashida Bee and Champadevi Shukla, were recognized for their activism on behalf of the thousands of survivors of the Union Carbide Gas Disaster, and were presented with the Goldman Environmental Award.

The women used the money from the award to found a trust that has several main functions: extending economic and livelihood support programs to gas-affected women and their families; taking up initiatives that help protect and support the rights of victims of the Gas Disaster, particularly women and children; and to promote the Chingari Award, which recognizes women activists in other parts of India who are fighting against corporate crime and environmental destruction.

Chingari Trust operates a clinic committed to helping children in Bhopal born with various psychological and physical disabilities. The Chingari Trust Rehabilitation Center is around half a kilometer away from the Sambhavna clinic.

Photograph by Alex Masi

Rashida and Rachna on Their Way Home. Photo: Alex Masi

Presently there are over 930 children registered with the Chingari Trust and 200 children come to the centre each day and receive long-term care. Most children come with their mothers but there are a few children who come on their own. Chingari has five vans and their drivers drive out to the bastis every morning to pick the children up and bring them to the centre.

The services offered at the Chingari Rehabilitation Center include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education and sports activities. The children who visit Chingari are supported, stimulated, and encouraged—all of this makes them happy and leaves them feeling “normal”, an experience they do not often encounter at home and in their neighborhoods. Almost all of these children come from families that are impoverished and one can only imagine how much poverty compounds their existing health problems. This is a major reason why the free care and therapy that is given at the Chingari Rehabilitation center is so crucial.

The staff at Chingari are made up of skilled doctors and therapists who every day take on the challenging task of working with these children. Not only do they work with the children, but they also counsel and instruct their mothers on how to best care for and stimulate their children when they are at home.

In 2016 The Chingari Trust celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. A joint celebration was held, along with the Sambhavna Trust, which celebrated its 20th. Report on celebration events here

The Child Protection Policy at Chingari can be read here

We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.