International Yoga Day 2019

On the occasion of International Day of Yoga, members of the Sambhavna Trust Clinic, addressed a press conference calling for the use of yoga in treating pain among the survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal.

They said potentially harmful painkillers were being routinely and heavily prescribed in government hospitals intended to provide care for the Bhopal survivors. The members presented information from their clinic on the effectiveness of yoga therapy in the treatment of different painful conditions. Established in 1996, the Sambhavna Trust Clinic has registered over 35,000 persons affected by Union Carbide poisons for free medical care.

“Our study found that among the survivors of the disaster, deaths due to kidney damage were three times higher when compared to an unexposed population. According to official records, till December 2018, 1277 survivors have received ex-gratia amount for fatal diseases of the kidneys and the numbers continue to increase. There is good reason to believe that the frequent and prolonged use of potentially harmful painkillers in their hospitals is one of the main causes of kidney damage among the Bhopal survivors.” said Aziza Sultan, gynaecology assistant at the clinic.

Speaking on the use of painkillers in the metal care of Bhopal survivors, Community research worker Farhat Jahan said, “75% of the survivors who came to our clinic in the last two years joint pain, low backache and other painful conditions. We found that nearly 70% of survivors found relief in low backache and pain in legs through yoga therapy. While we use yoga therapy successfully at our clinic for such conditions, the only treatment government hospitals offer is painkillers that potentially cause damage to the kidneys and other organs.”

“We found that Diclonefac, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are the most commonly used painkillers in hospitals run by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department. Prolonged use of these drugs is known to cause heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and damage to the kidneys and liver.” said Bhagwan Singh who is a Community Research Worker at the clinic.

Said Dr Shweta Chaturvedi, yoga therapist at Sambhavna, “there is clear evidence that drug-free yoga therapy can effectively provide sustained relief from pain to the survivors as well as protect them from potential harm from painkillers. We hope on this International Day of Yoga, concerned officials of the state and central government will give serious consideration to adopting yoga therapy for pain relief in hospitals meant for Bhopal survivors.”


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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.