Saturday, 13 April 2013

As the Golden Bird awakened: Purva

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Saturday, April 13, 2013 No comments

Having stared at my watch for about a minute, i decided to shift my focus to see how many other participants wore one, something that caught my eyes instead, was the goosebumps on my neighbour’s hands; my eyes automatically shifted to her face, twisted in a painful way. 

To satisfy my curiosity, I followed her to the screen, near the stage. There it was, the cause of her immense pain, which I too, was about to feel. The stories about acid attack survivors, Chanchal and Sonam. At that very moment my conscious refused to accept the brutality of the incident and as Alok went on about the other cases, my heart sank deeper, a voice in my head screamed, "And you worried about a bad-hair-day!.” 

My head sank down in shame.

Later, I gathered the stories about the rest of the victims from the Stop Acid Attacks website, and with each victim, my frustration grew deeper. "At first, it feels like an icy splash, and then the burning starts,” were the words that refused to leave my mind. 

Some wise man has rightly said ,”Once obsession poisons a mind, it renders it useless”. My imagination ran wild tracing the day they became victim of a heinous act of rage.  I found my self standing beside the victims trying to figure out their reactions, how they would have started their day with a grin on their faces, not having a slight hint of what awaited them. 

As they reached the respective spots of the crime, my panic increased, I wanted to warn them about the hostility on the attacker’s face, pull them away just before the burning liquid charred their skin and organs. But, it was past; the acid had done the damage, they had screamed for help while their attackers smiled like a devil. Their eyes were burning, eyelids were gone, face melted away and voices- they faded in agony. 

Many a beautiful dream and aspirations were washed off with the splash of that merciless act of rage. Warm tears making their way through my cheeks reassured the safety of my present and the realisation struck me hard. 

We live in a world where a 70-year-old gets mad at a girl of 15 for refusing to marry him or a guy believes that by messing a girl’s life, he might win her over. Here, the old evils of dowry and greed survive stronger than ever in the support of lust and inhumanity. Justice is a crooked concept which revolves around the pains of the one in need of it. 

There are millions of girls like me, who could not smile for days after learning about this cause, that ensures a risk free life to victims fighting acid attacks, which seems like a boon to them. 

To all I appeal, let us try to take this cause to the ones who are not as fortunate as us, but only stronger, braver and more spirited than all of us.

(Purva Dashottar is pursuing her chartered accountancy education from Indore. With an active involvement in issues concerned with women's rights, Purva takes forward the Stop Acid Attacks campaign while being based in central India. She can be reached at purva@stopacidattacks.org)

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Chhanv

    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.

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    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.

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