Meet Kavita (name changed) from Ghaziabad – Kavita was a VLCC parlor employee helping women look beautiful. She was very happy with her life until on June 17, 2012 a spurned lover threw acid on her just outside her house to get his revenge. Since then, Kavita only comes out of her home now to attend court trials which still seem to have failed to provide justice to her. What worsens the situation is Kavita has no support from her family and they have been pressurizing her to withdraw the legal case from the courts. It is not just the physical pain that bothers Kavita, but being burnt 85 % also makes your confidence fall out like a house of cards. She cannot even talk for continuous 5 minutes with even her family members let alone strangers.
If you thought acid attacks were made by spurned lovers or barbaric strangers, then you might be wrong. Meet Meena, who was attacked with sulphuric acid by none other than her own husband. And why? The reason might astonish you. The reason being she was too beautiful and her mingling with other men made him jealous and question Meena’s fidelity. So he threw acid on his own wife to get rid of his own insecurities. Meena today, still confident looks into the mirror every day and says to herself “I am beautiful. I am still beautiful”. Meena atleast has come out of the shock and is trying her level best to make the best of her life, she runs a small catering business in her hometown.
But, everyone is not Meena.
There are many women out there still struggling and fighting against this cruelty. Today we cover two institutions which are working towards helping the acid attack survivors, or should we rather say ‘fighters’.
Stop Acid Attacks Organization
Stop Acid Attacks or SAA, is an organization started by the core team of Alok Dixit (journalist turned social activist), Anurag Dwivedi (volunteer) and Ashok Shukla (handling social media). SAA is a campaign to fight against the brutality of acid attacks. Acid burns slowly, first affecting the outer appearance of a human being and then slowly corroding the confidence and self-respect. Acid attack survivors in most cases are confined to their home and don’t even venture out to tell their story. SAA works as a bridge between these survivors and the society.
Some of the campaigns started by SAA are towards bringing awareness amongst everyone regarding the acid attacks and trying to establish better legal protection and compensation from the Government for the survivors.
SAA has also started Chhanv Organization which is based in Delhi and it provides shelter to all the survivors who come down to Delhi for their treatment. But Chhanv goes beyond just being a shelter home. There are various training programs, workshops and counselling workshops conducted at Chhanv. A place where all the survivors come together and they sing and dance to forget their anguishes atleast for some time.
If you want to do your bit and help this campaign, please join them. For more information click here.
Acid Survivors Foundation India
Acid Survivors Foundation India or ASFI works towards eradicating acid violence through the medium of social, regulatory and educative measures. It caters not only to the medical needs of the survivors but also psychosocial well being. ASFI along with working on helping the survivors, also works on preventive measures and fight for making the judicial laws stricter in case of acid violence.
ASFI works today to help the victims come out of the trauma and lead a self-sufficient life. It thrives each day to fight against the social stigma against these survivors and gives strength to them to fight against the violators.
ASFI is always in need of volunteers. If you want to help in this cause, please call on +91-9007612727.
We can never understand the pain and anguish of all those survivors have gone through and are still experiencing. We might not even know about all the survivors, some of them still hiding in their homes unable to muster the strength and come out. But what we can do is – come out and help them rebuild their lives by giving them chances to be financially independent, listening to their stories, provide medical help and in the end maybe just be a friend!