Friday, 12 September 2014


By: Team PenTastic
 [ Written By Ritika Barik ]     


A confident girl. A beautiful girl. A girl who is independent. A girl who has a zest for living. A girl who loves challenges. A girl who has a life. A girl who has friends, who has admirers. A girl who is suffering from her own shares of problems and trying to solve them, trying to carve a niche for herself . Then everything changes. Life becomes black, morose and grim .The girl who wanted to conquer the world does not even want to see it. This is what an Acid attack victim or a survivor feels like. It takes not just days, but months and in several cases years for her to recover in physical terms while mentally it take longer or even forever  to regain her confidence in herself and wish  to sail through life.  An acid attack can happen for any reason. It may be because a girl did not want to be with some guy and refused him, may be because the girl's husband wanted more dowry, may be because the girl didn’t listen to the guy and hurt his male ego. In most of the cases, the guy wants to take revenge because deep down she has hurt his ego…and he thinks that this is the best way to make her go through hell… and he is right! she does go through grave consequences and mental torture. We may just talk and discuss and sympathize with her but only she knows that nobody can understand her pain.

It takes just a few seconds and a small bottle of acid to completely topple down one‘s life. Most of the cases go unreported, when reported then complete justice is rarely meted out. The society starts moral policing. Neighbours start gossiping and discussing how she used to be pretty earlier but now she looks horrible…YES that’s our society.

In a country, where on one hand we have licensing for possessing any ‘arms’ and we cannot grab any ‘weapon’ openly, on the other side equally harmful and hazardous acids are cheaply and widely available. We do need a proper law to stop this as soon as possible. Moreover, the Criminal Law works for these victims under the Sections 320,322,325 and 326 of IPC that provides the definition of ‘grievous hurt’. But to our dismay, this definition doesn’t spell about the deliberate hurt on important parts of female body nor does it specifically entails to hurt caused by Acid Attacks. This was even reported by Law commission of India. Let me tell you an incident.Two men threw acid on a 15 year old girl  because she refused to marry one of them. Laxmi, the victim is currently fighting to get a ban on the retail sale of acid as a solution to curb acid attacks in India – through the Change.org petition.

 Eight years have passed since this incident since this incident and we are still on the same position. In the last three months alone more than 60 acid attack cases on women in India were reported. With each passing day, in absence of any regulation on acid sale, innocent women are paying a heavy price.THE price of acid is less than one bottle of coca cola also. Is somebody’s life so cheap? Can  somebody so easily destroy it?

In  Bangladesh, a legislation was passed in 2002 that provided for death sentence to the acid attack perpetrator and made laws strictly controlling sale, use, storage and international trade of acid. India is the 4th country which treats its women cruelly.India’s judicial process is infamous for its ‘long drawn’ justice delivery. The things need to be acted upon now and fast track courts need to be stalled everywhere. As evident from numerous cases, acid burns recovery and treatment involves a lot of money spanning several lakhs of rupees, it must be compensated by the offender,although he still may not realize the value of the soul and life he destroyed.. Proper and compulsory counselling sessions and rehabilitation programmes must be conducted to help the victim and her family to live through the trauma. As in most cases, women are attacked on their face, it becomes difficult for them to get involved in social gatherings; they must be provided with jobs and skill development.

All the more, society does need to move from the ‘backward thinking’ and patriarchal attitude and accept that girls can excel and are excelling in their fields and that they have the equal rights to live with freedom!

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