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This picture shows Sameer Hasan, aged 16, held by his mother Wahida at home in the Tila Jamalpura neighborhood of Bhopal. Sameer, whose parents were exposed to Union Carbide’s poison gas, suffers from severe spastic cerebral palsy.
The complete series of photos shows: children born to parents who were exposed to the gas of the 1984 disaster; or to a contaminated water supply; or, in some cases, to both.
The primary water supply in the neighbourhoods near to the factory was, for many decades, sourced from the local groundwater aquifer. But, while the nearby Union Carbide factory was in operation it recklessly dumped toxic waste and dangerous chemicals leached in to the aquifer.
The poisonous chemicals are know to have been leaching in to the aquifer from a time years before the gas disaster and have been slowly poisoning the residents for years. Although some areas now have a rudimentary, piped supply of safe water there is still a large, unknown number of families with no choice but to use the contaminated supply.
The contaminated water crisis in Bhopal is a separate disaster from the 1984 gas disaster. It began before 1984 and would have continued with, or without, the gas tragedy.