“My main attacker was out on bail within a month, and he soon got married. He returned to normal life within a month, but what about me? Nobody even wants to be my friend; how can I even hope that I’ll have a lover or a husband?” – Laxmi Agarwal
Approximately 150 acid attacks happen every year, according to Acid Attack Survivors Foundation. Both male and female cases are reported every year; the ratio of female cases comparatively higher. These incidents mostly arise out of the repudiation of unwanted male attention. Disgruntled fathers, embittered lovers, anxious colleagues, or those seeking vengeance against a family, make women their object. These people consider women as a target to fulfill their monstrous dreams.
We inhabit a society with unrealistic beauty standards, where fair complexion is idealized. Every woman is expected to have certain features to be considered beautiful. The noxious rules question the self-esteem of every person, abandoning the truth that everyone is unique.
The hapless victims tend to face discrimination in every step. The society rarely fails to express antipathy towards the acid attack survivors.
After facing a life-changing catastrophe that scatters dream, the victims are rarely able to assemble enough courage to face the negativity in their daily lives.
Some brave acid attack survivors shared their devastating life incident with everyone. One of them is Laxmi Agarwal.
Laxmi Aggarwal, at the age of 15, was attacked by fellow acquaintances Rakhi and Guddu. Guddu threw acid on her face because she refused to marry him. After the attack, Laxmi was left completely devastated, and she suffered from trauma and depression.
After many dilemmas, she decided to take a stand and fight for a cause. Later, she fought the case and finally succeeded in punishing the culprits.
She stated that “people told my family to give me an injection that would kill me. The person attacked me for once, but the society kept attacking me every day with their negativity.” This clearly shows how vexatious our society is.
Another survivor, Anmol Rodriguez, was attacked by her father when she was just two months old. She was raised in an orphanage, and her childhood wasn’t as colorful as others, she faced difficulty in socializing because she was always treated differently. Later she was forced to quit her job because of workplace discrimination.
After a lot of protests and a long debate, The Supreme court of India passed an order regulating the sale of concentrated acid, prohibiting the sale of acids to minors, and selling acid to those with valid identification. But in reality, strict implementation is just a phase!
Numerous research and investigation states that acids are still sold without any restrictions at a minimum price.
Regardless of the SC order pronouncing illicit deal and acquiring acid a non-bailable offense, anybody can even now stroll into a hardware shop and buy a corrosive jug. Thus, the destructive fluid keeps on being used for crushing young lives.
Section 326 A of the Indian Penal Code states the punishment for acid attack. The minimum sentence is ten years of imprisonment. It can extend up to life imprisonment with fine. Section 326 B endeavors to toss acid wrongdoing punishable with a jail term of five to seven years and fine whenever saw as liable.
If we introspect, isn’t this a quite nominal punishment for ruining someone’s identity and their dreams. Alok Dixit, who began an NGO Stop Acid Attacks in 2013, says, “Individuals who scar a woman forever ought to be rebuffed harshly. Be that as it may, unfortunately, the women are shunned— some by their own families and others by society.”
Witnessing your skin shredding and melting away merged with the extreme pain of burning sensation, which you are barely able to breathe. A few drops of a liquid that turn your life upside down that ruin your identity. The physical trauma is incomparable.
You are gathering confidence to lift yourself and face the society- a society that tags you as a ‘Victim’ but perceives you as the culprit. The norms which make you ‘undesirable’. Still being able to accept your scars and combating hatred is nothing less than being a prodigy.
If we rethink and scrutinize a survivor’s whole process by stepping into their shoes, instinctively, we will start worshiping them.
So how might we battle this wrongdoing? We can gain from Bangladesh, which had an incredibly high number of cases and has had the option to battle the issue by and large. Initial, an acid assault case in the nation must be attempted expediently. Examinations must be finished inside 30 days. If the exploring official needs additional time, she or he needs to advise the court, and just two augmentations of 15 days are given.
If the official neglects to finish the examinations or is seen as immoral, she or he is at risk for discipline. The case must be chosen inside 90 days. Second, Bangladesh has extreme punishments for the wrongdoing – up to the death penalty. Third, unlicensed creation, import, transportation, stockpiling, deal, and corrosive utilization can draw in a prison term from three to ten years.
An acid assault has long-lasting results on the life of the casualty who faces never-ending torment, changeless harm, and different issues for an incredible remainder. Their carrying on with life becomes like a drain; they become too damaged and humiliated to leave their home and do straightforward errands, get hitched, have youngsters, find a new line of work, go to class, and go to a level so forth.
Regardless of whether they are happy to seek after a typical life, there is no assurance that society itself will regard them as ordinary people. They were given their appearance and incapacities after an assault. They will most likely be unable to work or have the option to get a new line of work, and subsequently, unendingly battle to endure. Like this, to control assaults on women, cruel discipline ought to be given to an individual with the goal that they feel equivalent to the victim feels.
It is now time for us to change and raise a mutiny against those societal norms that discourage the victims’ equality. We should erase the mindset that discriminates those real warriors because the real beauty lies inside the soul, and everyone deserves to lead a peaceful life.