The children of Bhopal - Toxic maiming of a generation

December 2, 2015 marked the 31st anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy that killed up to 10,000 of the citizens of Bhopal within 72 hours and, has gone on to claim, in total, over 25,000 lives to date.

The original site of the toxic pesticide plant was never cleared up and remains, as referred to by Greenpeace, one of the world's 'toxic hotspots'. Thousands of families have, for decades, been using water contaminated with toxic chemicals as their primary supply leading to serious illnesses, including cancers, and a spate of birth defects in their children.

The Dow Chemical company bought the assets and liability of Union Carbide in 2001 but have failed to answer ongoing charges in Indian courts or indeed made any attempt to clean up Bhopal.

In the meantime, the toxic aquifer continues to maim thousands of babies born in Bhopal annually.

All the children pictured - along with another 750 more - are cared for by staff at The Chingari Trust which in turn is funded by the UK-based NGO The Bhopal Medical Appeal.

The Chingari Trust was set up in 2005 by Goldman Environmental Prize winners and local activists Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla who themselves are both surivivors from that terrible night in December 1984.

Story and photographs by Giles Clarke/Getty Images

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