Acid attacks are the worst form of violence against women. Personal conflicts in intimate relations and sexual rejection or conflicts over land and property are the major motivators behind this heinous crime. It not only plays havoc with the victim’s physical appearance but also develops psychological and emotional scars for lifetime. Shock, anger and self pity are the various emotions that clog the victim’s brain. She is often ostracized from the society which puts her dignity in jeopardy. A lot has been done with regard to combating of acid attacks in the country but a lot more needs to be done to get rid of this social conundrum altogether.
Regulation of acid sales
The government must regulate selling and purchasing of acids. It must become mandatory for all acid traders to have licenses with them. A proper record of the buyers along with their details should be kept to increase the authenticity of sales. Another important factor which contributes to the increasing number of acid attacks is its easy availability. Sulphuric, nitric and hydrochloric acid are easily accessible at cheap prices. The prices, thus, must be revised from time to time.
Punishment for perpetrators
The people behind acid attacks are often released without any trial. In some cases, a small amount of money is enough for them to set free and make plans for torturing other women. In such a bleak scenario, it becomes imperative for the government to take measures which thwart the potential perpetrators from committing any such crime. Declaring lifetime imprisonment for the accused including capital punishment in extreme cases is a possible solution to bring down the number of acid attacks in the country.
A lot of awareness needs to be spread among the masses in order to prevent acid attacks. The concerned authorities can initiate Women Development Cells in every area or locality that make women aware of the potential perpetrators and how to deal with them effectively. Useful tips like wearing sunglasses while walking out of the house, keeping faces covered with dupatta or carrying a water bottle in hand can work wonders in helping them avoid any such tragic incidents.
Opening more centers for treatment
The acid thrown damages the victim’s skin tissue and dissolves their bones. Blindness as well as permanent scarring of the face is also the repercussions of this crime. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of medical centers that treat victims of acid attacks. There are just two burn centers in Mumbai. The burns do not heal properly which further cause skin infections which spread to the whole body making it difficult for the victim to recuperate. The need of the hour is to open more and more burns treatment centers that are able to handle complex cases of this kind.
Support from family, friends and NGOs
Close ones can play a pivotal role in helping the victim lead a normal life. Family and friends’ emotional support can work wonders in helping the victim regain confidence and eke out a living for herself. The contribution of NGOs is also important to help victims connect with each other and inspire each other. There are a number of success stories wherein intervention of NGOs helped women in transforming their lives through optimism and encouragement.
The society’s way of perceiving the victims can speed up the victim’s recovery process. They should not be shunned from the society and must be encouraged to lead a dignified life.
Charvi Kathuria is an aspiring Freelance Writer. These days, she is scrutinising everything and anything that comes her way. Reading has become her favourite past time. She calls this hobby of hers, "food for brain".