Wednesday, 2 July 2014

We're in process to setup an Boutique for Rupa

Our Goal is to rent a shop for Rupa in a decent locality in Delhi which Rupa can decorate as her boutique. We want to also provide her with the initial capital for her shop so that she can buy the equipment and employ other acid attack survivors to work with her.

Your support could be appreciable for us . 
Help Rupa's dream become a reality. 
Contribute here: Friends in Abroad | Friends in India 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Neetu's mother narrates how they hae survived for two decades with occasional help from people who provide them odd jobs. She, otherwise, finds work as a domestic help in the nearby houses to earn a living for the family.

Neetu is a girl from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, who, as a three-year-old, suffered an acid attack along with another months old infant who died, when her father threw acid on her mother and the sleeping children. That was back in 1992. Neetu has lived with very little vision and grown up with a completely disfigured face for over 21 years. Her mother, too, suffers scars on face and eyes and vision loss. Their story reflects the tragedy that a society becomes in the absence of compassion for the weak and the suffering. It reflects how women lack support from their own families when they are abused in a domestic set-up. While one of her daughters died and the other barely survives, the mother and Neetu continue to live with the same man, without having received any medical or legal help form any one. When Stop Acid Attacks met them in Agra, we realised Neetu's eyes needed an immediate medical examination to check possibilities of vision. We invited them to Delhi and they managed to come a month later. While initial examination showed possibility of retaining some vision in one of her eyes, the doctor at AIIMS, later, suggested operating the eye would be a risk to the minimal vision she has now. Her mother's eye was operated for cataract at the same hospital. They stay at our support centre CHHANV when in Delhi and keep the space lively as the sisters ridicule almost every sentence their mother completes in her rural mother tongue, with speed. Neetu sings and her mother plays the dholak. When in Agra, they survive doing odd seasonal jobs, like making cardboard boxes, during festivals. Her younger sister goes to school. With their limited skill sets and health status, an immediate rehabilitation for the family of three, excluding the accused father who was never charged, could be to get them a small gift or other merchandise store away from Agra in New Delhi and a small space to live in the capital city, where there treatments are under process. Neetu's mother narrates how they hae survived for two decades with occasional help from people who provide them odd jobs. She, otherwise, finds work as a domestic help in the nearby houses to earn a living for the family. The funds we raise for Neetu would be utilised to initiate a small business for the family that helps them sustain independently and for Neetu's initial treatment and medicines. We wish to take her to other ophthalmologists in the country for an opinion on retaining her vision. Neetu, her mother and a younger sister need our support in this never ending struggle against an acid attack that has left them struggling for survival over the last two decades. As compassionate fellow human beings, we must come forward to help this family and create a success story of their lives that defeats the social hypocrisy and stigma they have survived.
Help Make It Happen 

Ritu: My face was used to settle scores

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Saturday, June 21, 2014 2 comments
When I did on May 26, 2012, it was too late. The face I was born with had become history — the outcome of a property dispute. I fell in love with volleyball while studying in Class VI at Saini High School in Rohtak. Like every day, I had started off for the volleyball court to practice that day too. As soon as I reached the Prem Nagar Chowk around 4:30pm, two young men approached me on a motorbike. Before I could take evasive action, the pillion rider had splashed acid over me.
The chowk is a bustling place. Shopkeepers crowded around as I lay there, squirming in pain. But nobody stepped forth to help; they were more interested in discussing the whys and whos of the incident.Fortunately, my elder brother was passing by. He spotted me and rushed me to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in a police van that happened to reach there at the moment. I fainted on the way to the hospital. I regained consciousness the following morning to see my parents and other relatives crowded around me in the emergency ward.

They did not need to break the news. The expression on their faces told me how I looked — disfigured forever. Every second of the two months that I spent on the hospital bed, I wondered what I had done to deserve this cruelty. And I asked lord Krishna if it were His way of telling me I should not enact Him every Janmashtami at the local temple. Join my facebook Page Acid Attacks Fighter Ritu

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Far from family, living under the same roof, Kavita clings to hope

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Thursday, April 10, 2014 7 comments
At 24, when each one of us is busy chasing their dreams, Kavita of Lucknow steps out of her house only on the days she has to appear at the court. Her routine happiness with both, her professional and personal lives, did not last long, like it does for any other girl her age.

In her case too, it was a spurned lover, who turned barbaric and resorted to an acid attack on June 17 2012, when Kavita was returning from work. Though she had been earlier threatened by her lover, a married man, she had not believed he could actually ruin her life, forever. Somebody blocked Kavita's way as she walked back home on the fateful day and poured a jar of acid.

The attack left Kavita with 85% burns on her face, apart from burn injuries on her neck, shoulder and back. While she had to be confined to a bed, fighting the unbearable pain caused by chemical burns, what multiplied her misery was that she hardly got any support from her own family. Even today, she is shunned in her own house by her step-mother and father, and only receives some support from her step-brothers.
Moreover, the accused is still out there, friends with Kavita's alcoholic father; and continues to threaten her with dire consequences if she continues her legal battle.
So far, she has undergone three surgeries, but further treatment was halted due to her bleak financial situation. Her hearing capability from one year and the vision in one of her eyes has been hampered in the attack. Even her face requires a few more corrective surgeries.
Kavita's struggle and psychological trauma is doubled by the unfriendly atmosphere at home. She is in need of immediate help, both financially and in terms of rehabilitation, away from home.
Each passing day may bring a different ordeal to Kavita, but, she is hopeful.
Hopeful that the culprit will soon be behind the bars.
Hopeful that may be someday, her family and the society will accept her. Hopeful that she will see the world the way she did before the day that scarred her life…

-Pooja Sehrawat
(The writer is a banker from Kanpur and volunteers with the Stop Acid Attacks campaign)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Black Rose, In Protest of Love

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1 comment

It has been a year since we have been apprising you of the trauma that an acid attack survivor faces. However, it was unavoidable not to think of the perpetrators of this crime, spurned lovers in about 95% cases, and their perspectives.

At first thought, it becomes clear that these 'lovers' find it impossible to take a rejection, and rather feel humiliated. But, how do we resolve the complexity of the rage that erupts from this 'love'? May be by providing an alternative to express the anger and hurt caused by a 'NO'.

An alternative to acid attack, or to any intent of harming the person you dreamt of being together with; and this alternative of a peaceful disagreement is Black Rose. A Black Rose- in protest of the love that culminates in hurt, abuse or violence being caused to one of the two people involved (And in some weird cases, an unaware third person, like the Ludhiana girl Harpreet, become the victim of this 'love' that propagates hate and revenge.

Addressing the people at the Mumbai Spot of Shame- Bandra terminus- acid attack fighter and the face of our campaign, Laxmi rightly said, "If you can not do good to a girl, please do not even dare to harm her." Give a Black Rose instead. A Black Rose signifying that you are hurt with the actions of the other. A Black Rose to let the other know that you are suffering. And suffering does not entitle you to take revenge from the one who causes it. Our own actions and thoughts lead us to our suffering, which eventually plays an important part in our own growth as a person.

We believe there must be no room for violence in our lives unless defending. To burn, mame, difigure or mutilate another human being is far from humanity. If these crimes are happening around us, we must at once condemn these, and recognize the need to embrace peace and compassion.

In the words of poet, artist and writer Khalil Gibran, "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

So, this month of St Valentine, let us protest against this corruption and pollution of love, that makes criminals out of young and old and leaves girls with no zeal to gather their scattered lives, as they cope with their distraught, isolated self. Starting Rose Day on February 7, we will initiate the practice of offering a Black Rose to the one who has disappointed you in a relationship. Give it to the one who never understood your love for them.

Give a Black Rose to the one who has been troubling you with constant harassment of expressing his/her interest in you. Give it to the one who is contributing in this pollution of love, which has, to a large extent, changed the definition of this vital word.

We will write our own stories. The campaign core team will share why would they want to give a Black Rose to someone. We will ask people as well to share their stories in the written form.
Since we believe an eye for an eye will leave us all blind, it is iminent to get rid of this 'acidic' behavior within us. Even if a girl has slapped you and refused to talk, give her a Black Rose, in order to register your disagreement with their behavior. By harming her, you will only harm yourself more.
On February 14, we plan to gather at a public park in New Delhi, where acid attack fighters and SAA campaigners will offer a Black Rose to someone they think deserves it. Even others will get a chance to share what they feel about this campaign on the final day.

Let us save love as we understood it from within. Let us avoid popular culture from infecting it. Let us protest against this intent of physical abuse, which is conveniently reported as a result of a "one sided love affair".

Don't ever be in a hurry. Hold on. Have the patience and courage to suffer, reflect and resolve.
Pass a Black Rose to get rid of the evil within us that guides crimes against women. In the words of another poet, Maya Angelou, "Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."


    About Us

    SAA is a campaign against acid violence. We work as a bridge between survivors and the society, as most of the victims of this brutal crime, which is much more grave in its impact than a rape, have isolated themselves after losing their face. Due to ignorance of the government and civil society, most survivors find no hope and stay like an outcast, in solitude. SAA aims to research and track acid attack cases and compile a data to get the actual situation of survivors.

    Our Mission

    We work with partners and stakeholders towards elimination of acid and other forms of burn violence and protection of survivors' rights. The process of justice to an acid attack victim remains incomplete until she gets immediate medical, legal and economic help, along with the critical social acceptance. Our vision is to free India from this crime, which reflects the flaws of our patriarchal society and abusive attitudes. We want survivors to have access to fast justice and fight back the irreparable impact of this crime.

    Support Us

    Any amount you can donate to us, no matter how small, will be very gratefully received and put to good use helping acid and burns violence survivors. Your help could help pay for dressings and medical supplies for recuperating patients. A small help could help survivors with vital physical rehabilitation after an attack, including physical therapy and nursing.

    Click this link to donate for a good cause.

    Join Us

    We welcome all the volunteers to come forward and join us in our camping and contribute in whatever way possible. Please visit the Join Us page for more details.