Saturday – arrival in Bhopal

Bhopal does not appear to have a pre-pay desk, at least not for the auto-rickshaws which I have been advised to take since the roads near the centre are too narrow and rough for a taxi. They are! Of course no-one knows where the Sambhavna Hospital is but one chap says he does (he doesn’t) and we set off having agreed a fare.

We get to the ‘People’s Hospital’ – I happen to know Sambhavna is behind it, and are directed down a narrow street by the guard at the front. After several more turns and several more askings we arrive.

It is easy to forget while sitting in our own brand of luxury in UK, that what is legitimately a high standard here is still very basic to us. There is no hot water, for instance. I wander around before anyone arrives. I meet Carlos, from Italy and here for two weeks helping in the library, and who makes a green tea. Breakfast is very much a DIY affair but there are two other meals cooked for us. And the water filter system is REALLY needed as it is not drinkable from the taps.

It is a big centre, spread out on the ground floor with a small amount of volunteer accommodation on the first floor. There are consulting rooms for the doctors, a counselling room, a gynaecological room, several panchakarma (ayurveda bodywork) rooms, a big yoga studio and many offices, meeting rooms etc. There is also a dispensing clinic for medicines and Ayurveda preparations.

What will I be doing and how will I get on with everyone?

More of Ian’s Bhopal Diaries here

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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.