The Sambhavna Trust Clinic which treats survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, alongside those affected by the ongoing toxic contamination in Bhopal, celebrated 19 years of work just yesterday (3rd September 2015).
More than thirty years since the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, over 120,000 people still suffer severe illnesses to almost every system of their bodies, thanks to the damage caused by the gases.
In addition, an estimated 50,000 people have been drinking contaminated ground water, in some cases for up to 20 years, thanks to highly toxic chemicals abandoned at the disaster site leaching in to their drinking water supply.
Despite massive expenditures, the medical care of the exposed people continues to be terribly inadequate and the Sambhavna Clinic opened its doors on September 2, 1996 proposing a better healthcare model with free treatment for all of those affected by either the poison gas or the contaminated water.
The Clinic, run by the Sambhavna Trust, an independent, community-based, non-governmental organisation receives a large part of its funding from the Bhopal Medical Appeal and has, since 1996, registered over 29,000 chronically ill people from affected communities.
Sambhavna offers an innovative blend of modern and traditional therapies, free of cost to the survivors, and has won numerous awards for its work. Its allopathic (Western Medicine) care team consists of a general physician, a gynecologist, a pediatrician and a consultant in Sonology. Their work is supported by an in-house laboratory with facilities for biochemical, cytological and microbiological investigations.
Two Ayurveda physicians and two Panchakarma therapists provide treatment through herbal medicines and through procedures of detoxification such as medicated oil massage, steam bath, medicinal oil stream and medicinal enema.
More than 100 species of medicinal plants are grown on a one acre garden next to the clinic building. The garden provides fresh, organic herbs for the preparation of medicines and inspires people to start medicine gardens in their communities or even to grow at home.
At Sambhavna, survivors are instructed in different Yoga postures [Asanas], breathing exercises [Pranayama] and cleansing actions [Shodhana] depending on the nature of their symptoms. Yoga therapy has been found to be particularly useful for treatment of breathlessness, backache, joint pains, menstrual irregularities, diabetes, anxiety and insomnia.
Founder of the clinic Satinath Sarangi said: “Research on the health consequences of exposure to Carbide’s poisons was wound up in 1994 by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Sambhavna has made significant contributions to the scientific knowledge on the long-term health consequences of the disaster and medical interventions towards ameliorating these consequences despite its constraints of human and financial resources.”
The Bhopal Medical Appeal congratulates the Sambhavna Trust on this stunning achievement.