Last Friday morning started on a sad note for me. My sister came up to me in the morning with the ‘Friday’ magazine. I was expecting her to show me some beauty or fashion related articles. But little did I know this is what I would get to read.
Acid attacks are not a new information to people in some parts of Asia. And a major part of the victims are women and children. Acid attack has a devastating impact of human life. It causes multiple permanent disabilities and even death. Survivors cannot live the rest of their lives without assistance.
It feels so heavy to talk about this. I personally thank the Gulf News for bringing such news to light. We people just tend to live in our own busy circle of life without knowing what not goes around the world. This is just one among them.
Sonali Mukherjee was also a normal 17 year old girl with dreams and ambitions in India. But just within a split second everything comes crashing down leaving her dis-figured, blind and one ear missing. Want to know why she had to go through this? Because she and her family showed the guts to stand up to some street guys who disturbed her on way back to school. I mean, who wouldn’t? Any girl and any father would react on this. And these guys took such a horrible revenge!!!! Don’t they have mother and sisters of their own???
Since then she has been fighting her way back to life. Her family had to go through lot of financial and emotional stress, with very less people to help. She was not given proper justice even by the Government. The two guys who did this to her were sentenced to nine-year imprisonment but were released just after 2 years (Sick). Now they roam free as the victim continues to suffer!!
Her family then approached the Government to give them permission to kill themselves which was denied of-course. But I can’t help thinking of how they must have gone through to reach such a decision! But that’s how her plight came to light and she got chance to appear on the Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ show and won Rs.2.5million (Dhs155,00) which greatly helped her treatment.
Rs2.5 million (about Dh155,000)
She had to let go of her many dreams and has now dedicated her time to support other acid attack victims. I respect and salute her for her courage to speak out and stay strong. There are many similar cases which we just don’t get to know. Most acid attacks happen due to domestic violence, dowry demands, marital rejections and suspicion of infidelity. Most cases go hidden due to embarrassment, fear of another attack, denied justice or in worst cases the victims are just killed off to bury the truth with them.
In one place when women are raising up to the levels of presidents and business women, other places they are in worser conditions we cannot imagine. The demand for equality in men and women are debated across the globe and here women just plead to ‘please let us live peacefully!!’
It is up to us to read this story, sit sad thinking about it for some time and then get busy with our life OR really do something for them. In Gulf News they have introduced us to a registered charity ASTI (Acid Survivors Trust International)
in London which helps acid victims. Do check out their site and try to do your bit. The least we can do for them is to pray and share this with all. I have no affiliation with this site and I am not trying to promote their page or anything here. Whatever I have written here is from my heart.