Survivors present evidence of medical problems, efficacy of yoga and ayurveda, slam state healthcare system as incompetent, apathetic and corrupt

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal Ki Aawaaz

February 27, 2007
PRESS STATEMENT
At a Press Conference today a group of people suffering from different chronic ailments due to Union Carbide’s poisonous chemicals shared their experience of getting sustained relief from their symptoms through treatment by Yoga and Ayurveda at the Sambhavna Trust clinic. The conference was organised by four organisations who are on the eighth day of their dharna (sit in) demanding proper medical care, economic and social rehabilitation and protection from Union Carbide’s poisons from the Madhya Pradesh government.
Dr Jyoti Keswani, yoga therapist at the Sambhavna clinic spoke on the effectiveness of Yoga therapy in the treatment of gas exposure related chronic breathlessness, joint pains, body ache, menstrual disorders, panic attacks and other problems. She said that in the last 10 years, the Sambhavna clinic has provided free medical care to over 18, 000 people affected by Union Carbide’s toxic gases and by ground water contamination caused by Carbide’s chemical wastes.
According to Dr. Keswani an unusually large number of gas affected people receiving care at Sambhavna were found to be suffering from diabetes, hypertension, thyroid and menstrual disorders indicating damage to the endocrinal system due to the gas disaster of December 1984. Her records show that Yoga has been remarkably effective in the treatment of these chronic health problems. In addition Yoga was found to provide sustained relief in symptoms such as body ache and headache attributable to exposure to contaminated ground water.
Dr Keswani said that thousands of people taking treatment at Sambhavna had found sustained relief from exposure related problems such as chronic breathlessness, loss of appetite, stomach disorders, panic attacks, fainting spells, joint pain, body ache and other problems through Ayurveda care. She said that medical care through modern medicine, Ayurveda and Yoga at Sambhavna in the last 10 years has shown that it is possible to develop safe, simple, effective and inexpensive means to provide sustained relief from exposure related health problems.
The leaders of the survivors’ organisations pointed out that in a particular year, less than 5 % of the total amount spent on hospital and clinics meant for gas affected people was expended on care through Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy and Yoga. They said that there was ample evidence that the state government’s disproportionate emphasis on health care through modern medicine had failed to provide effective relief to the Bhopal victims. They pointed out that in many instances prolonged treatment by modern medicine was causing more harm than good and in the case of such medicines as steroids, pain killers, antibiotic and psychotropic drugs potentially compounding exposure related injuries.
The organisations are calling for a five fold increase on expenditure on treatment through alternate systems of health care and are determined to continue with their “Jeene ka Haq” (Right to Life) campaign till their demands are met. Demanding meaningful changes in the present system of health care of the gas victims, they said that it has remained ridden with apathy, incompetence and corruption and that only pharmaceutical companies and state government officials and ministers have benefited from it in the last 22 years.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
94256 88215
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact : House No. 60, Near Cold Storage, Union Carbide Road, Chhola, Bhopal
Please visit www.bhopal.net for more information on the campaign for justice in Bhopal

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