Shakir Ali Khan hospital is a state-run ‘gas hospital’ situated in central Bhopal. It is a bleak and depressing place and sums up the amount of help being given to gas victims by the national and local government bodies.
Dr Mantosh Singh, who is the head doctor, faces a massive uphill battle to treat the over 1,200 victims registered at the hospital. There are only a handful of full time doctors and only 16 qualified staff in total. Other than proper funding, they urgently need anesthetists. ‘It is very difficult to look after patients with no money’.
There are wards that are empty of patients – with beds and mattresses piled high. Men and women are housed on different floors and many lie in stained and un-washed blankets. These very sick people suffering mainly from respiratory and heart diseases, but others have growths that are horrific. The State-‘run’ ‘gas hospitals’ are seemingly used by the government as tools to promote their own agendas and PR in stating they are indeed helping gas victims… sadly, the reality is very different.
The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two clinics in Bhopal which provide free and effective treatment for those poisoned by the toxic gas or the water contamination in Bhopal. The clinics use gentle and appropraite care to treat patients still suffering in Bhopal today. You can donate to the BMA here
Photos and text by Giles Clarke