Why India is one of the most polluted countries on Earth

Dec 06, 2018

EVERYONE IN NAWAB COLONY can point to victims. Twenty-year-old Annisa, for instance, has the face of a Bollywood starlet, but limbs so withered she cannot walk. Raj, 13, shrunken and largely paralysed, is carried by his father like a large doll. Another teenage boy, Shyamlal, sits alone on a doorstep. He suffers milder palsy; at least he can speak and does not drool. A few steps away across some railroad tracks, what looks like a baby slumped on her mother’s shoulder turns out to be a patchily bald, terribly stunted three-year-old, who cannot hold her head up.

All are among some 961 cases taken up by the Chingari Trust, a local charity working with child victims of the worst industrial accident in history. Yet none of them was even born when some 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate gas spewed out of the Union Carbide pesticide plant here, killing between 4,000 and 16,000 people. That was in 1984. The likely cause of their disabilities...


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