Tuesday, 28 May 2013
An acid attack on Laxmi in New Delhi's busy Khan Market back in 2005 led her family to lose all they had in a gradual turn of events. She was only 16 then. Though unlike many other survivors of acid attacks, Laxmi got immediate help and treatment, her family ended up losing all their finances and resources on her treatment and their fight for justice. In this landmark case, the two accused — Rakhi and Guddu — were sentenced to 7 and 10 years imprisonment, respectively.
Guddu alias Naeem Khan, with help of his brother Imran and Imran’s friend Rakhi had planned this heinous crime. Guddu had developed a one-sided liking towards Laxmi and resolved to distort her beautiful face with acid when she did not respond to his advances.
Laxmi also filed a PIL in the Supreme Court urging for regulation on sale of acid in 2006. In her plea, she had sought framing of a new law or amendment to the existing criminal laws like IPC, Indian Evidence Act and CrPC for dealing with the offence, besides asking for compensation. Laxmi's counsel Aparna Bhat had, however, invited court's attention to the Haryana scheme for care and rehabilitation of acid attack victims under which the state government has taken upon itself the entire responsibility for treatment and rehabilitation of acid attack victims.
But, an unfortunate incident in 2012 has left the family without the sole bread winner, as Laxmi's father passed away in 2012. Her younger brother has been diagnosed with dysfunctional lungs and is admitted in the hospital. Her mother spends her days looking after her ailing son. The family survives on the little help they get from her father's former employer, for whom he used to work as a cook. The brave acid attack fighter Laxmi even went on to learn tailoring and beauticians work after recovering from the grave injuries, but she hasn't managed to earn any work for these vocational skills. At Stop Acid Attacks, we wish to help this fighter to set an example by taking charge of not just her life but even her family's survival. Laxmi celebrates her birthday on June 1. Let us make this birthday a landmark one for her. Your contributions will be used to set up a means of livelihood for Laxmi, may be a small parlour or a tailoring shop, according to her will. She also wishes to work with Stop Acid Attacks as a volunteer and we appreciate her spirit.
The Supreme Court on 22nd April 2013 expressed its displeasure over the failure of the Union government to come up with a clear stand on framing a stringent law or making amendments to the existing ones to deal with acid attacks, which are on the rise in the country.