Kallol Dutta (AKA Dada!) is 47. He’s been Sambhavna’s computer programmer and data analyst for the last eight years.
Were you affected by the 1984 gas leak?
Actually no, I lived in Calcutta and I moved to Bhopal for work in 1990, so I wasn’t here the night that the gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory.
What do you consider the most valuable thing about your role here?
Helping the doctors with computer-generated diagnostic tools. The computer systems allow us to collect data for analysis so that we can easily decipher patients’ test results and use the information for future research projects.
And the most valuable thing about Sambhavna Clinic?
Sambhavna provides the best treatment for survivors of the gas leak at no cost. It is a very noble objective and I am proud to work within the organisation.
Do you think that justice will ever be achieved for the people of Bhopal?
Justice cannot be achieved for these people, because the government are not willing to concentrate on Bhopal; they are interested in earning money. Despite hospitals being established to provide care for gas affected people, their needs are ignored and private patients, who can afford to pay for treatment are seen instead, even if they are not gas affected. Even in Bhopal many people think that the gas leak is history, nothing more. I didn’t realise the extent of the problems in Bhopal when I first arrived. It was only through meeting Sathyu (Sarangi, managing trustee of Sambhavna) that I realised how many people were, and still are affected.
What do you think Sambhavna needs the most?
We need to be able to do research into the effects of the gases and the toxic water. We cannot do experiments on human beings with these types of poisons and so it’s important that we do continuing research on the people that have been affected.
What would you say to people who are reading the BMA website?
Please help the organisation to grow because we are trying so hard to provide care to gas and contaminated water-affected communities, whilst also doing continual research.
What is your greatest achievement at Sambhavna to date?
Developing an online software programme that records a patient’s medical history, pathology results, yoga therapies, panchakarma therapies and ayurvedic and allopathic treatment. We use up to the minute software such as ‘Oracle’ which allows us to access information very easily.
What are your hopes for the people of Bhopal?
I hope that people can have rehabilitation, support and education so that they can be employed. Vocational courses need to be initiated so that physically disabled people can work and feel valued in their communities.