On December 3, 1984, there was a major gas leak at the Union Carbide Corp pesticide factory in Bhopal, India.
Photographer Raghu Rai took a series of photos in the days that followed the tragic disaster.
The photos depicted the effect that the gas leak had on the people living around the area, and the adverse effects it has had on the local community that continue till today.
30 years later, with the help of Amnesty International, Rai returned to Bhopal to once again to document how the tragedy has affected the people living there in the long term.
Rai photographed patients at Sambhavna Clinic, a free clinic that was set up by activists to provide vital health care to all those that were affected by the gas leak.
In September 2014, there was a protest staged by the survivors outside the residence of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, demanding proper compensation.
Amnesty International spoke to several of the people living in Bhopal, including Satinath 'Sathyu' Sarangi, who originally went to Bhopal as a volunteer to help out after the tragedy.
Here's a photograph of Satinath 'Sathyu' Sarangi and Rachna Dhingra, another person who moved to Bhopal to help the survivors.
Amnesty International also met with Shahzadi Bi, a 60-year-old survivor, and her family.
Shahzadi Bi lived in Blue Moon Colony, which is just a few hundred metres from the now abandoned Union Carbide factory. Her community much like the other 22 that surround the factory is ravaged by water contamination, caused by the fall out of the gas leak. “I am a victim of both disasters – the toxic gas leak and toxicity in drinking water,” she explains. “Everyone has dreams,” she explained, “I too had those. My dream was not about becoming a teacher or doctor… I wished that we would provide a good education to our children… but the gas leak shattered all these dreams.”
Shahzadi now actively participates in campaigning groups, including the Stationary Workers Association and the Bhopal Gas Victims Struggle Committee. “We did many demonstrations and carried out many rallies, burnt many effigies, sat on hunger strikes, carried out two marches on foot from Bhopal to Delhi, in 2006 and 2008,” explains Shahzadi. “In 2006, we raised the issue of toxicity in ground water of these 22 slums. The government listened to us and agreed to provide us clean water from the Narmada pipeline.”
Here's a picture of Shahzadi Bi and her husband standing about 100 meters from her home, at the base of a pond which Union Carbide used to dump factory waste.
Safreen Khan a second generation affected by the tragedy also spoke to Amnesty International about feeling the need to do her part.
Rai photographed Dr D K Satpathy, pathologist and former head of the Madhya Pradesh state Medico-Legal Institute, with foetuses of pregnant women who died immediately after the Bhopal gas leak.
Photographed here is Rampyari Bai, one of the oldest and most persistent survivors of the Bhopal tragedy.