Acid attack, one of the most heinous crimes against humanity, especially women, still exists in the world and if the statistics are to be believed not even countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and India have the records but also United States and European Union have their share of reports but most cases cover South East Asian countries where the incidents simply never seem to take a halt. Both men and women as well as children are targeted in such cases but women are the most vulnerable beings. If we dig deeper into the causes behind it, the main reasons are because of the rejection of marriage proposals or sexual advances, and these innocent souls are aimed for not killing, rather causing humiliation, for life!
“I was returning from my college to home. On the way, my ‘friend’ that time came on his bike and approached me to come near him and all of a sudden he threw acid on me. I screamed really hard but it was too late. I couldn’t imagine that my denial would bring out a devil in him..”
“My boss wanted to marry me and so he asked me out. I denied his proposal and since his ego was severely damaged as he didn’t expect that, he literally said to me – ‘If you cannot be mine, I won’t let you be someone else’s’. I wasn’t serious about his sayings since I couldn’t even had a slight idea that he had courage to do this.”
Acid attacks leave a woman with dangerously impaired physical as well as mental collapse. They do not deserve to be punished so brutally as a result of some sort of simply a denial. Liking a person is a natural phenomenon but making them your obsession is moronic. Even if you somehow manage to ask for a proposal to her it cannot always be a yes! Are you yourself interested in every girl on the planet and ready to marry a random girl who asks you out? Of course, no!
It scars a lady for the rest of her life. Even if she is financially strong enough to pay for a surgery her long gone face never comes back, which is extremely painful. And it is not just confined to face. If an acid is thrown on someone it reaches deep down his/her skin to underneath fat and even bones. One cannot imagine how awful it feels while acid digs deep into their skin, until they themselves experience that. And I am not talking about physical scarring that they undergo. It also involves their psychological status which takes years to recover, and that too does not guarantee that they actually happen to move on in their life as if it never happened.
They face social boycott as their burned face scare people away. If they haven’t completed their qualification they hesitate to be a regular student in schools and colleges. It takes a hell lot of guts to face the world full of people who are not empathic enough to understand their personal struggles. The surgeries requires bulk of money that also never can bring back the original face. Surgeries are meant for lightening the scars to some extent. For those women who are grown up enough to earn money have to take several leaves due to consistent loop of medical care that they need to seek. There is a high chance in such a case that they are fired from work.
What about the culprits? They move freely after getting bail in just a few days! How mentally exhausting it seems when a girl gets scar for life, never gets justice and in addition socially abolished, for everything happens at the same time! The victims wait for the trials and the culprits never seem to get punishment, especially if they have a political support.
“I went to the courts for so many years with the hope that there would come a day that he would get sentence. Every time the court was left with more trials. His elders would kiss his head as if he fought some battle and that he was no less than an innocent. Even if he gets life imprisonment who is going to bring back my face? I simply went for justice because watching the culprit getting punished seems quite a relief in such a pathetic life I am living today, with the hope to many girls out there who are left hopeless and to those who even think of attacking someone might not actually implement it with the fear of the law. But I was so wrong! The judiciary needs reform, a serious reform…”.
I do not understand why people are so obsessed with the term ‘beauty’ despite of the fact that it fades away with time as a person ages. And who guarantees that if you marry a beautiful bride, she is never going to face such a horrific incident? What would be your responsibility then after? Leave her? That’s insane!
With the modern era the newspapers and magazines now use “acid attack survivor” instead of “acid attack victim”, quite a positive approach to initiate the changes across the surroundings. There are various campaigns like “Make Love Not Scars”, “Stop Acid Attacks”, etc. that are really making much efforts to make a change in the society by helping the victims as much as they can, both mentally and financially, with the aim to completely eradicate such kind of violence. Many victims have successfully moved on due to that!
A prime example could be of a restaurant, namely”Sheroes Hangout”, which was founded by a group of acid attack survivors with the aim to bring back their confidence and now it is quite a successful restaurant in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Another example is the Indian fashion brand “Viva N Diva” that encouraged only acid attack survivors to take part in their fashion show. Many women participated in modeling at the event by giving a clear message to their attackers that they are not the ones who are broken at soul, but rather fighters who know how to smile if their life gives them lemons, a tight slap against those who committed that kind of heinous crimes! Lakshmi, the show stopper was only 15 who was attacked by a man double of her age, and is now a famous face of the brand, a mum of an year old daughter at present to a partner who is also an active participant in the campaign.
I personally want to spread a message to all those women, who are discouraged not only by the society but also by their family, to never ever lose hope and be optimistic with whatever they have ever planned in their life to achieve. This time it seems having more hurdles but since it is truly said “When there is a will, there is a way!” it is only you who is going to change the society’s mindset, and that you have not lost strength till the day you are alive.