It is a victory that is the consequence of hard and persistent fighting for a strong cause – the Natalia Ponce law.
Who is Natalia Ponce and why should Indian women, why should victims of acid attacks, why should especially politicians in India know about his courageous woman? They all should know about Natalia Ponce from Colombia and the so called “Natalia Ponce law” as she set an example we in India need to follow ASAP!
As so many girls and women in India Natalia became victim of one of the meanest, of the most horrifying crimes one can imagine, of an acid attack. She did not ask for the compliments, for the feelings for the affection of her neighbor, she did not want it, rejected it rightfully.
As a result, he threw acid in her face back in March 2014. But, so what?! That was basically the reaction of the legal system in Colombia and we all know more than enough that this is – even though unbelievable – the situation in India as well. Natalia underwent already 20 operations and many more to come. She wears a mask that protects her burnt face. And she stood up to fight the system, a system that did not punish brutal men (or also pitiful losers), that out of hurt pride or whatever ridiculous reason thought it was ok to harm someone else.
And Natalia Ponce achieved a great accomplishment, The law that is named after her will impose much harsher sentences on people who have committed acid attacks. We talk about prison time of 12 to 50 years – a long time to think about if what one has done – destroy a girl’s life – was really smart or maybe not. And of course this would serve as a warning to all these mean guys that
Acid attacks until now fell under the category of physical aggression, on the same level as beatings and thus sentences were relatively short. Natalia’s effort raised the awareness and made the Senate pass this bill. It will come into force as soon as the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, will have signed it.
We wish, we would have a bill that would be signed by our President. That in our society we would have enough awareness, that we would not look away but help these victims. We do have great initiatives, people that stand up. Ria Sharma and her work with MakeLoveNotScars as an example. Or the cafe in Agra which is run by acid attack victims. Or strong women like Monica Singh who made it to fashion hot-spot New York in order to pursue her dream to work in fashion.
But we need more, from everyone. Politicians and society need to help that no more acid attacks take place. Acid sales in stores need to be forbidden or controlled strictly. Actually there recently was a great campaign by acid attack victim Reshma.
If people want to buy acid, they need be questioned why they buy it. Everyone must be alert. And then finally of course, if people perform such attacks, they need to be punished severely, put into jail for their life, equally to the life they took away from others.
Society needs to take a stand. We all must stand up and fight for this cause, acid attacks MUST disappear, FOREVER!
Reynu joined WomenNow from the beginning on. She loves writing and combines this with her love for India, the country her parents emigrated from to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities. Studying litterature and journalism helped laid the foundation for her writing skills. She is into badminton and an avid runner. Her dream is to live between New York and Mumbai.