This is why the government needs to pay more attention to acid attacks NOW.
With more acid attack cases coming to light the government seems to be turning a blind eye to them. Not understanding that the an acid attack not only leaves the victim disfigured but disabled as well shows exactly how much attention the government is truly paying to the cause. Working in the field and having to crowd fund most our campaigns only goes to show the lack of support the survivors actually receive. The measly Rs. 3 Lakh compensation is inadequate and barely covers any costs. The government obviously hasn’t done their research if they believe that the amount they a lot is close to being enough. A life of endless surgeries ahead of them, survivors in most cases don’t even receive their compensation due to the strenuous process involved.
The accused roam around scot-free and the word ‘justice’ has become a sick joke. I see cases where a survivor is left in a hospital bed for years, her family going broke because of the medical costs and the accused out on bail. In the few years that the accused roams the streets free, he also makes it his right to live as normally as possible. He gets married, has children and the survivor? She leads a life full of social stigma, unemployment and pain.
With acid attack cases on the rise, the government doesn’t want this to become the ‘new rape’. Going from a time when not a lot of people knew about this kind of violence, as a social worker it become hard to know when spreading the awareness intern helps put an idea into the criminals mind. Being the easiest crime to commit, if the government doesn’t take strict action to prevent such incidents, it won’t be surprising if acid attacks soon become a convict’s first choice of crime.
After all how hard is it to through a glass of liquid on a defenceless soul and run away?
We Indians have this bad habit where we dismiss the quote “prevention is better than cure” and sadly that is the reason for our every downfall. The government now has the chance and the ball is in their court, if they want they can stop the problem or watch it spiral out of control. Today it was a girl, an educated girl and it is important to state that fact because most people believe these cases happen in rural areas.
Tomorrow it could be you.
Will the government finally wake up and address the issue or will we have to loose a few more faces before they acknowledge this form of violence? Do we truly want to add to an already long existing list of crimes inflicted on women?
I promise you, this is something that will affect you, it will affect all of us because if this becomes a common practise, it’s not long before we reach a new low. I know we have enough going on with terrorist’s attacks and elections but just this once, let us not be Indians, lets us not let this slide and lets act now.
Ria Sharma is the founder of Make Love Not Scars, a youth driven NGO that works in all aspects of rehabilitation in the field of acid attacks in India. Ria finished her schooling from pathways World School in Gurgaon and has a BA (Hons) degree in fashion from Leeds College Of Art in the United Kingdom. A young individual that believes in the power of justice, the strength of the human spirit and the next generation that is ready to help eradicate social stigma. Determined to bring about change, the term impossible is just another opportunity in her opinion.