The Bhopal Medical Appeal

By Alex Masi for The Bhopal Medical Appeal

The Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA) is a unique non-governmental organisation which was created to offer legal and medical assistance, physiotherapy, education and care for thousands of victims of the 1984 Union Carbide pesticide disaster. The deadly legacy of the gas-leak continues to affect not only those who survived but also their children, some of them suffering from severe, degrading neurological and physical disorders due to the large-scale human and environmental contamination which continues unabated in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Left buried in various spots near the industrial site for the past 25 years (on 3rd December 2009), the toxic waste penetrates the city’s underground water reservoirs every time it rains. An indelible curse, an ignoble crime, a self-perpetrating injustice against those defenceless children and their families who have been stripped of their right to dignity and happiness, whose need for water in order to survive has relentlessly poisoned their bodies, their minds, their existence. The BMA is trying to bring them back to life.

It only accepts donations by individuals or small groups in order to maintain its impartiality and advance in its quest for justice. It counts over 20.000 registered patients.

I strived to capture images reflecting the inner struggles of the second-generation of victims, children whose real despair can barely be imagined; images challenging the viewers’ emotions and empathy, images that cannot but call for support.

I wanted to project the viewer in front of the angelic children I have carried in my arms, with whom I have played and shared extended periods of time, children that made me suffer deep inside, that made me reconsider what it means to be human, what my role as a person should be and what I want to achieve by visiting them again and again.


Photographer: Alex Masi / professional

Photographer Website:

Award Year: 2009

Non Profit: The Bhopal Medical Appeal

Non Profit Website:

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