SCHOOLCHILDREN jumped around and played in a rainbow of coloured powder as part of a charity fundraising project for Bhopal disaster survivors.

Ninety Year 3 pupils at St Luke’s Primary School in Queens Park Rise, Brighton, had a ball throwing powder at each other, recreating the spectacular scenes of Hindu festival Holi celebrated in India and Nepal.

The school is part of a project with The Bhopal Medical Appeal charity which runs health clinics to help the survivors of the Bhopal disaster.

Pupils have been learning about India in class and have also done yoga and food tasting of Bhopali food.

It is part of a project in the run up to doing the 5k Color Run in September to fundraise for Brighton-based Bhopal Medical Appeal.

During the race, the children will run through a number of stations where they can expect to be covered from head to toe in coloured powder.

The Bhopal gas tragedy is considered the world’s worst industrial disaster.

In December 1984, more than 500,000 people were exposed to a pesticide in a gas leak from a chemical factory in Bhopal in central India.

A deadly cloud of lethal gas floated from the factory over Bhopal, home to more than 900,000 people, many in slums.

Some 3,000 people died from the effects of poisonous gas in the days following the disaster and many thousands were severely and permanently injured.

The charity supports clinics in Bhopal, offering medical help to gas-affected families.

Matt Kay, events and fundraising officer, said: “We have two clinics set up out there for the survivors of the gas damage. The children are raising money to repair our audiology room to help fit children with hearing aids.”

The charity is hoping to take its project to more schools across the city.

Year 3 teacher Anoushka Visvalingham said: “It was a nice climax to the India topic on a beautiful sunny day. They loved throwing the paint at us and they were all rolling around in it at the end.”

For more information visit The Bhopal Medical Appeal website at

  • Pictures by Allan Hutchings