This page will be changing in the next few days as I add the option for a Kindle, an Audio and just a donation. If you would like either of these, please bear with me and recheck the site in a week or so.
1984 - 30 tonnes of toxic gas killed and poisoned thousands of people
in northern Bhopal.
2013 - CHILDREN are being born today with congenital disability, such
as cerebral palsy, at a rate about 7 times* the rest of India. The
polluting toxins that affected their parents or grandparents 28 years
ago are causing these innocent little victims to suffer for the whole of
* according to doctors from Bhopal in a press conference in Calcutta on 3 March 2013
"an entertaining read"
"a totally compelling read"
see more comments below
|An e-book, a pdf, will be sent to you by e-mail||Please watch this short video of some children
who went to Delhi to campaign.
there is also a print version available at £10 plus postage costs. Send me a request via the Contact page.
Read about the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre where
children with congenital disability are given
support, education and treatment.
In August 2011 Ian Jarvis, a complementary therapist from the UK, travelled to Bhopal to spend three months volunteering in the Sambhavna Trust Clinic with victims of the 1984 gas disaster
He kept a diary of his activities, conversations and thoughts.
You are invited to make a donation and receive this e-book
free in order to raise funds for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, a
UK charity, and to support my return to the Sambhavna Trust Clinic and the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre,
both located in the slum areas of northern Bhopal.
If we raise enough I would like to help build a path. lab. for research and offer Chingari physiotherapists some training in the work of the Petto Institute, working with children with cerebral palsy or in the Ponseti method for club foot.
What benefits will YOU get from having this book?
• None at all!
• The great feeling of having helped two local victim’s centres.
• Supporting a project to improve the lives of the many victims.
• A better understanding of the current situation in Bhopal itself.
• Sharing the laughs and pitfalls of an intrepid traveller!
Read about the Sambhavna Trust Clinic – the only place offering
free treatment for victims of both gas and water.
Learn some of the facts you do not know about this incident
- You don’t know that many pregnant women spontaneously aborted that day and in the following days?
- You don’t know the compensation works out to 3p if spread to all the people who should have received it?
- You don’t know about the water pollution because toxic chemicals dumped on and around the site have been washed into the ground water source?
- You don’t know that these poisonous chemicals and heavy metals are still being washed into the soil and spreading the water pollution by 200 metres every year?
Comments and Reviews
Jane Williams - I started reading 'Sambhavna ~ 3 months in Bhopal, the Dairy of a Complementary Therapist' by Ian Jarvis. Big mistake, I have had to drag myself away from it to get something done. :-). Absolutely brilliant book. I definitely recommend it.
Lucy Lill - I'm enjoying your book very much, it's very evocative of the place; what a challenge and adventure it must have been.
Sharon Kronheim – I have now read your book and wish to send a small donation for your work with these people whose lives have been so blighted by wealthy industrialists …
Nick Binns - I started to read the book on the train journey home - it is a good read and a fascinating account. I look forward to reading the rest of it.
Sue Sylvester - (who bought it as a gift) I'm not going to give your book away - I'm finding it absorbing and fascinating.
Paul Andrews - I was deeply moved by your account of daily life in Bhopal - although I feel you have underestimated your impact on the care and assistance you gave at the clinic and the way in which you have raised the profile of this continuing disaster.
Robert Bullard (a writer) - I really like the mix of content (work & everyday life); plus you have a clear/entertaining voice, and present some humorous and original insights... well done... it will make an entertaning read.
Nagendra Chaturvedi (a staff member at Sambhavna) - Hats off to Ian Jarvis, done wonderful work at sambhavna, and I am proud of myself that I have spend time with him and he helped me a lot to improve my writing skills and grammar ... thanks Ian. Congratulations for completion of your Bhopal Book.....
Bryan Deal - Dear Ian, I can only stand in admiration of the work you are doing.
Sally Pickard - Ian made a real difference when he was out there, - - - I had the pleasure of proofing it; I found it funny, full of fascinating insights and descriptions about the country and its culture - and I felt humbled learning how just one person can make a difference. It is a totally compelling read.
Patsy Yardley - At last I have got round to making a start on reading your book, and it is indeed fascinating. - - - I will certainly continue to read your very interesting book even if it is only done in middling-sized snatches. I am full of admiration for what you have been doing.
Julia Doherty - yep. I have read your book... brilliant!!
Adam Petford - Any one wanting a real life and honest perspective of a tragedy that has been in most cases covered up by Western Commerce should get and read his book today. People like Ian make the world a better place to live in.
Mark Northall - Strangely addictive.
Buyers of the print book can see all the pictures in full colour here:
and also the poster to expand and read
Looking down over the inner courtyard at the Sambhavna Clinic.
|Simply a view from my balcony one evening.|
|The inner courtyard at Sambhavna.
||Sathyu Sarangi - who, as a final year PhD student,
went to Bhopal a couple of days after the incident
and stayed. Still helping and campaigning.
|My boat, my home taken on the Grand Union Canal in Warwick.
||This picture was taken on the Kennet & Avon canal, near Devizes
just after its new coat of paint.
|My early view of Delhi Nazruddin railway station.
||'Health and Safety' hold little sway in India.
|Week 1 -Saturday is Bhopal|
|This is the first view of Sambhavna I saw, the main entrance,
at about 07:30 in the morning.
It is a calming welcome , to anyone, in the middle of the
northern Bhopal slums.
|The 'new' market in the posh side of Bhopal south of the
two main lakes.
|And this is my first view of the Panchkarma therapy room
where I would spend many of my days for the next two months.
It is very different from a typical therapy room in the UK.
|The reception area before the morning rush starts.
In the morning there are many people waiting for registration
or to see a doctor or therapist.
Later, people wait for prescriptions of Ayurveda or allopathic medicines.
The Poster (if you enlarge this in your browser you will be able to read the text)
|Week 2 - A Welcome Rest|
|Kite flying is very popular in India and there was a shop on the
main road selling kites and string. That really is a kite up there
approaching the moon!
|The roof of a neighbouring house, ready for expansion when
materials and funds are available. Boys will always climb
as high as they can and there were often several playing
on the roof and steps. They will probably be young men
(at least) when they can sit in a room up there.
|The 'business' side of the treatment room. Keeping good records is
essential in any medical facility and the network of computers is
fundamental to the work and research.
|I felt that the wooden table, designed to cope with the flow of oil, was too
hard for the flesh and bone of mere humans. Maybe I am a soft westerner
but I used a thin mattress to aid the comfort of my clients.
|Ha ha! Our washing machine about which, with tongue firmly planted
in cheek, I extolled its environmental virtues.
|Dow employed a spying agency which found my blog and passed on
details of it to their spy-masters, revealed Wikileaks.
Missing the irony, but that's Americans for you!
|Week 3 - Sunday, Another Rest Day
|This is the view looking out of the main gate. The earlier
picture of the main entrance is behind my back.
To the left is just one of the heaps of rubbish with rats etc.
|Further along the road, and looking from another gate is this dwelling
where several people and goats live.
|Week 4 - A Week of Calm?|
This is me in the yoga room with two of the clients who were both
(If you have a neck problem and want to see them, they are now on my
|The children's play area, with the solar panels in the background.
I could see this from the rear window of the Panchkarma room in
which I worked with Biju.
In fact the plant to the left covers the wall of that room.
|On this Sunday morning, with the clinic closed of course, all our
excitement was created by these men cleaning out the pond.
It is home to several terrapins and fish which had to be caught.
Melanie and I were looking over our balcony when I took this picture.
The reception area is just visible on the right, behind the greenery.
|Week 5 - A Month of Sundays!|| (and the staff picnic)
|Here we all are, only an hour later than planned, waiting with one
of the two the buses that took us to the reservoir park for our picnic.
|Inside a typical Indian bus - ready to depart.
|Just a view as we journeyed the 50 kilometres south on our journey
from industrial Bhopal.
|The stream where, later, many were to get thoroughly soaked.
Beena, the Panchkarma therapist for women is the one in the middle.
Shabnam, a nurse, is to the right and Mahendra, the chief pathologist in
the white T-shirt.
|Boys play in the stream while the girls are forced to watch.
||The land around the dam is a natural park which is visited by many people.
|Although this was only a few weeks after the main monsoon
season, the rain had not been as much as hoped so the dam
was not full. This is a view looking away from the dam past
the run-off slope.
No clues for guessing who this is. Kamal, the pharmacist, was quite
In India there are very few swimming pools, and not a lot of water
|What it was all for, the picnic! Not a pack of sandwiches and
crisps but a full Indian meal with rice, curry, dahl and bread that
was new to me, bafla. Cooked over open fires.
|The tallest man, one of the gardeners, was chosen to serve.
|And before we left for home again, there was the compulsory
dancing, mainly for the young. Nagendra, my student for
English is on the far right.
|And this little girl was the star of course.
|Back at Sambhavna,this is the generator that does much good
work during the many power cuts that Bhopal suffers.
|Week 6 - October, A New Month|
|I was wondering
why religion plays
such a large part
in the society here
and got to thinking
hierachy of needs
and where religion
fits into it.
|Week 7 - The Bhopal Strike|
|The garden at Sambhavna is a peaceful haven
in the midst of the bustle of the city.
|Here they grow most of the herbs for use in the clinic and from which they
make pills, powders and oils used in Ayurveda.
|Week 8 - The Haircut Week|
|This is the rather unpreposessing front of the
Chingari Rehabilitation Centre, the only place in Bhopal
that gives free treatment and support to children born
with disability as a result of the gas leak and water
Children are still being born with all manner of disability
including cerebral palsy, growth problems, learning
difficulties and many more. The breast milk of many
mothers is toxic.
|Assembly, taken at about 12:30 is the only time when all the children
are present. Each day, mini-buses collect children and mothers and
bring them to the centre. This takes all morning.
The early arrivers receive their treatments and education and after
lunch are returned home. The later arrivals have their sessions during
the afternoon after which they too are taken home.
It is a major organisational feat and it works every day.
|Dannielle (centre) and Fabien arrived this week as
volunteers. They were nearing the end of a year of
world travel and had come on spec to see what they
Later on in their trip they assisted in a Mother Theresa
centre in Calcutta.
|Week 10 - An Hour Away
||(the week the clocks changed in UK)|
|Looking across the inner courtyard of Taj-ul-Masjid the largest
mosque in India (probably). The contender is in Delhi and I
gather that it depends on how you measure them.
|The population of Bhopal is about 40% Moslem, one of the highest
ratios in India. On this Sunday these young boys are being taught
their religious instruction.
|The inside is similarly impressive with high ceilings and carved stone.
And here we are in Dhai Seedi Ki Masjid, the smallest mosque in India
Nearby is the Ghandi nurse training college.
I just wonder if the builder of the large one nearby deliberately wanted to
You can just see Fabien and myself at the top - Dani took the picture.
|On the day I started my work at Chingari, Dani and Fabien visited
bringing some modelling balloons with them. This is Dani
surrounded by eager children - - -
|And here is Fabien with one particular young lady waiting patiently.
Later she was seen sitting quietly playing with it.
|Many families have both children with disabilities and children with
none. This young mother brings her disabled daughter each day
and cannot leave the young boy at home of course.
|Although mostly it is mothers who accompany their children we do
get the occasional father and this caring dad came along several
times when I was there.
This was on my first day at Chingari. I had been talking with Kalpana, one
Here we are sitting in the registration area and he has his arm firmly clasped
Dani with the two founders of Chingari, Rashida Bee (left) and
Despite being poor and both victims of the gas when children,
|Week 11 - The Eid Week|
|This is the meeting room at Sambhavna where most of the meetings take place.
It makes a big difference energetically to have an open-air place and be sitting
around without a table between attendees.
|Week 12 - My Penultimate Week|
|Because many people are illiterate, instructions for taking
pills have to be pictorial. On the left one pill had to be taken
in the morning, and on the right, one at night.
|This is Sidesh, one of the most severely affected children on the
cerebral palsy spectrum. He cannot even sit up and has little communication of any sort.
I gave him a treatment most of my days there.