Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Acid Attack survivors, addressed to the person who attacked them. Get e-Book on A Black Rose : In Protest of LovePosted by Stop Acid Attacks On Saturday, February 14, 2015 No comments
Most of the Acid Attacks in India are due to the one sided love of a man being rejected by a woman. Because the woman has rejected the proposal for love, the 'man' attacks her to ensure that she does not become part of any other man's life as well.
As Valentine's Day- a day to celebrate love- is near, we have compiled letters of few Acid Attack survivors, addressed to the person who attacked them. This is first of its kind of compilation of letters. Apart from the letters we will also include few poem by the survivors and other supporters of the campaign.
Your support is important: Your participation in our Tweetathon as an ambassador of the cause to end Acid Attacks, will motivate not only the various volunteers and campaigners, but will also educate and inform larger crowd in the society. Your participation will ensure that the cause reaches out to many people who are still not aware of the ongoing struggle to end violence against women.
We've launched an e-book titled "A Black Rose: In protest of Love" on Feb 14, which is available on our website for download by paying support amount of Rs 99/-.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Thursday, January 29, 2015 No comments
At the beginning of the year, Aarti Thakur (23) faced an acid attack at Goregaon station, that too in the peak evening hours. The 23-year-old girl had just begun her career in marketing and her family had pinned its hopes on her to kiss their financial woes goodbye.
Their dreams were dashed that evening, two months after she joined a renowned IT company in Goregaon. Following the attack, she never heard from her employers ever again. But, what Aarti regrets most is how all her colleagues, who over a period of two months had become good friends, wiped her out of their lives. "Till date, not a single colleague or friend has called to enquire or help. This attack was also an eye-opener in many ways," she said.
The attack brought about a sea-change in the once confident and outgoing girl. She has now confined herself to their one-room flat in Nalasopara and steps out only for hospital visits or unless absolutely necessary. And every time she covers herself from head to toe. "Partly, it is the fear of being attacked again, and part of it is about the way I look now," she said. The gruesome attack left her with serious burns and scars on eyebrows, face, neck and forearms. The attack also mentally scarred her 21-year-old sister, who always steps out wearing a burqa now. She is pursuing a beautician's course and dropped out of her college for want of funds.
Aarti's family, which comprises her mother, a single parent, and her sister, are practically leading a hand-to-mouth existence. The only earning member of her family, Aarti made about Rs 14,500 a month before the attack. Now, the family has no source of income. Their home rent of Rs 3,000 is pending for the last six months. She said the IT firm she worked for also owes her 21 days' salary that they have refused to pay her. "But, we do not have the time and resources to fight for all that now," she said.
Now, a typical day in the household starts with Aarti's mother Seema making a list of trusts and organizations she has to visit. She aims at collecting Rs 2 lakh for at least three more surgeries that Aarti has to undergo. Aarti said she wants to get back to her normal self and ensure her attackers suffer as much as she is suffering now. The trial in the case is yet to begin and all the accused are out on bail.
Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Thursday, January 29, 2015 3 comments
Fate is just too cruel for some people.
Baby Wasima hails from Fatehpur. Untimely death of her father and abject poverty had kept her away from education. She used to work at a Bidi factory and she used to be paid ₹30 for every 1000 Bidis produced. While returning back from work, she had to counter a group of 5-6 hooligans, who used to tease and make disgraceful remarks at her. Life was tough, she knew she had to work against all odds to earn a living.
One evening while returning along with her sister, they saw two men standing at a distance. Baby took her usual route, inspite of repeated coaxing from her sister to take a different route.
They had not recognized those two men from a distance. While they were passing them, the men splashed acid on her face. She thought the men had poured milk on her face. Her sister tried to catch the attackers, but they fled. When she reached home, her face was black and the family was befuddled. They took her to the government hospital in Fatehpur and the doctors disillusioned them about the acid attack. After 2-3 days of treatment, she was referred to a hospital in Kanpur.
Her face has been disfigured pitiably and she has lost her eyesight. Poverty has denied her proper treatment. 7 years after the attack, today also she is living an onerous life. Loss of eyesight has barred her from working for a living. She helps the family in household chores.
With minimal wages earned by the working members in the family, they see darkness ahead. Stop Acid Attacks campaign strives to show them a ray of hope.
Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Thursday, January 29, 2015 No comments
That is Kanmanipriya, whose wailing mother says, “When she dies, I will die, too. After her last suicide attempt, even her brother says that we will all die together now. Her pain has become unbearable for us, too.”
Frequent abuse by her husband pushed Kanmanipriya's mother to move to her father's place when her daughter was only eight-year-old. Kanmanipriya's grndfather, a priest at the church, got worried as she entered teenage and married her off at an early age of 14. She soon was a mother of two and regular sufferer of her husband's atrocities. Young Kanmanipriya couldn't cope with the harassment and got a divorce. She then moved to Trichi along with her son to live with her mother and got a job as a cashier. While Kanmanipriya was peacefully raising her son in Trichi, a friend of her former husband visited them from Singapore, tried to impress them with praises for Kanmanipriya, and proposed to marry her. She denied the proposal straight away, but he kept insisting her to rethink her decision. Relatives and friends advised: “Being alone throughout your life would be tough. If someone is ready to hold her hand, why not?” They were soon married in a church.
Kanmanipriya had clarified to her second husband that she won't be able to conceive, as she had already undergone a tubectomy, and he agreed that he would never demand kids. She married the man and moved to Chennai with him. When her new in-laws visited, they seemed unhappy with the marriage that had happened without their consent, and expressed their desire for a grandchild. The husband, too, started pressurising Kanmanipriya for a child. She was shocked.
Her inability to give birth proved troublesome for Kanmanipriya, as this family, too, started abusing and harassing her regularly. “He was already quite cruel on me and a womaniser. His parents' presence made him all the more cruel. He started figuring out ways to finish my life. Became worse than an animal. He would frequently abuse me in public, so that I get frustrated and commit suicide, and he could marry another woman who could give grandchild to his parents.
“On June 5, 2004, the man brought an acid bottle from the bathroom, uncapped it, and forced Kanmanipriya to gulp it down. She had no way out and soon started vomiting blood and chunks of melted flesh from her insides. The husband got frightened and rushed her to hospital. The first four to five hospitals refused to touch her without the involvement of police. Death was hovering around Kanmanipriya, when a nursing home finally took her in, and saved her life.
“But, by then I had turned into a hopeless case. When I gained consciousness, he told me I will be fine and that he will always be around me. He begged me not to disclose his crime and say that it was a suicide attempt by me,” she narrates.
He urged the 63-year-old mother, too, to hide his crime. The old lady thought it was out of her social and financial status to get involved with the police and courts and did not have any relatives either to support them. She agreed, in the hope that her silence in front of police would save her daughter's life, as she had no idea how to get Kanmanipriya the required treatment when she had not been able to drink or swallow anything, because of the melting innards.
After 45 days and three surgeries, Kanmanipriya's doctor said only nine percent of her treatment had been successful. The fourth bypass surgery could save her life somehow and that was around 2006, when the accused husband, who forced her to consume the acid, decided to flee.
Her son James Samuel Dharmaraj is 25 now, and makes about Rs 7,000 every month, which facilitates the trio's bread and her mother's few medicines for survival. Kanmanipriya needs to undergo endoscopy twice a year, but it has been two years since she underwent one; each costing her about Rs 10,000-15,000.
“The injury is inside. Even I haven't been able to see it ever; only feel the burning pain even if I try to swallow a lentil seed, it is tough for you to imagine how it feels throwing up after almost every meal you ingest forcefully. I don't have the energy to puke any more. It kills me. The last time my doctor told me he doubted some sort of cancerous system inside my body when he saw me throwing up blood clots,” says Kanmanipriya, lying in their tiny residence, that has lost every single article of use over her treatment and survival. Life, still, doesn't seem to take any easy turn for the three of them. Her mother's cousin sister helped them last time with her jewels that saw Kanmanipriya through the last round of treatment.
When Rakesh from SAA asked the family about the complications involved in saving Kanmanipriya's life, she said, “Please talk to my doctor urologist Ashok Thyagarajan, sir. He is a renown doctor and no less than god to me, sir. He can tell you everything about my medical needs.” Dr Thyagarajan was caught up in a surgery when Rakesh contacted him, but he assured that he would soon share with us a detailed note about Kanmanipriya's medical needs and estimated cost of the best possible treatment for her.
We could reach Kanmanipriya through a translated story that appeared in Kunguman Thozhi, a Tamil magazine, lying by her bed. A report by Vijaya Anand about Stop Acid Attacks informed them about this campaign that aims at rehabilitating acid attack survivors, and providing them medico-legal support.
While Dr Thyagarajan shared with us how he had been hoping that Kanmanipriya's son completes her graduation, despite the odds he is facing, so that he could get him a decent job that would take care of family's monthly expenditure, Kanmanipriya explained Rakesh how she spends most of her days. “I like movies. I have seen a couple of Hindi movies also, like Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayengey and Hum Aapke.... .” Rakesh had to remind her the name. And she added, “I have seen both these films about a hundred times,” with a sparkle in her eyes. “Kanmani means eye ball, sir,” she explained. She, the one dear to eye balls, lies on a bed in that tiny hutment.
Hoping against all misery that this doesn't turn out to be her death bed.