Saturday, 13 April 2013

Lok Shabha TV debate on the issue of Acid Attacks

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Saturday, April 13, 2013 No comments
Lok Shabha TV conducted a live debate on this very important social issue of Acid Attack on women in their 4 PM show called Gender Discourse on 11th April 2013.

Watch a repeat telecast 14 Apr, Mon 2 PM-3 PM & 1 7 Apr, Wed 9 AM-10 AM

The panel members of this talk show were:

Ms Kamlesh : Supreme Court counsel  who has been closely associated with acid attack cases.

Dr  Rastogi: Psychiatrist at Safdarjung hospital Delhi

Ms Anu Mukherjee: Acid attack survivor who was a victim of this crime 9 yrs ago. 
Mr Alok Dixit: Co founder of stop acid attacks campaign

Anu Mukharji at Loksabha TV studio 
The show started with Ms Anu telling her harrowing story and her life after the Acid attack. She put forward all the hardship she has to face in life after the incident and how every day she is struggling to cope up with her health, medical expense and family needs. She does not have a home to live, food to eat...and not a penny to spend on her treatment. She can’t step outside, she doesn’t have job to support her family and herself. She is totally shattered.  She appealed to the society and legislation to support her in every possible way.

Ms Kamlesh who is looking after Anu's case in Supreme Court and is a core team member of stop acid attack campaign was of the opinion that acid violence is the worst and the most heinous crime against women. A rape victim can still bounce back to life after the rehabilitation process but the scarred life of an acid attack victim will never allow her to live a normal life. She has to go through a mental trauma of Surgeries, Scars and Solitude. She also observed that in spite of such a grave nature of crime strangely the justice system of India show sympathy to the accused citing the reasons that the accused has come from a poor family or that they have to support their family or old parents who are dependant on him etc. This is very unfortunate and the judicial system needs to take cognizance of the plight of the victims and award most stringent punishments to the convicts. She also appealed to the legislation to be sympathic to the victims and to dispose the acid attacks cases in no more than six months as justice delayed in these case are often justice denied. Adoption of victims, taking care of all her treatments and giving them employment could be other welcome steps in this regard.

Dr Rastogi on the other hand looked at the psychological cause and effects of acid attacks. He insisted on the need of constructive counseling of the victims immediately after the incident as they are most often in state of shock and loose hope to live further. The survivors of past acid attack can also help in this regard.

He also brought one very important point that as per law, there is a provision to provide Rs 1000 allowance to patients who fall in 40% or more handicap category. Most of the acid survivors fall under this category but in spite of that most of them do not get this allowance. The reason for this should be investigated and made sure that Acid victims get this help from the Government.

Mr Alok Dixit pointed out that one reason for Acit victims not getting the pension money is that hospitals don't give them proper certificate stating that they are 40% Disabled. Most often they quote 30% or  36%. This does not make any sense as there is a need to look at this matter in a subjective and humanist way.  The medical need of the victims is very expensive and even mere Rs1000 per month or a compensation of 2 lakh awarded by court after several years of  court case is too little too late. Ms Kamlesh demanded that a minimum Rs. 10 lakhs of compensation and a goverment job should be provided to the victims to aid their treatment and to instill self confidence in them which they need so badly.

Mr Dixit also brought to light the need for supporting patient during their treatment and also long term care. He talked about the need for a Rehabilitation center near Sajdarjung Hospital to aid the victims and their family during the course of immediate treatment and also providing employment opportunity to the victims after their recover from the injury.

The show concluded with remarks from the host that there is no doubt how heinous this crime is and the judiciary system should come up with exemplary punishments in these cases to set precedent in the society to deter the offenders. The government should also take cognizance of this issue before it gets out of control like rape or murder and bring in necessary amendments to the law. Society on the other had should come forward to support the victims in all possible ways and initiatives like Stop Acid Attacks will play important role in changing the view point of the society in favour of the victims.


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    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.

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    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.

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