Thursday, 29 January 2015
Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Thursday, January 29, 2015 4 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.