Letter from the Editor
There can be few things that are worse than the plight of an acid attack victim whose life is destroyed in a few nano seconds.
According to the home ministry’s data, somewhere in India, every third day, a woman becomes a victim of an acid attack. Yet, despite the alarming rate at which lives are corroded, the government has done little to deal with this most horrific crime.
Laxmi was 15 when she became the victim of an acid attack in 2005. A year later, she went to court petitioning for a ban on the sale of acid. Thus began her long, hard legal battle, which ended only recently with the Supreme Court order regulating the sale of this deadly liquid weapon.
But this order is just one small step.
We at Hindustan Times are proud to have begun an initiative to wake up India against acid attacks. Our campaign, which began on July 21, has received overwhelming support from our readers. The life stories of young victims – mainly women – have inspired many to join HT in its fight against acid attacks.
Our readers have come forward to offer jobs, financial assistance and medical care to many of the victims who have boldly shared their trauma and shaken the consciousness of society. Our readers have been our most valuable partners in the Stop Acid Attacks campaign.
But this is just the beginning. Just the regulation of acid sales is, however, not enough. While there are scores of factories manufacturing acid without a licence, illegal sales of the deadly liquid are quite commonplace too. Moreover, the perpetrators of acid attacks, among the most heinous of crimes, deserve the severest punishment.
After an attack, medical and psychological care is what victims need the most. Join our online campaign and add your signature to our petition demanding that the state reimburses all medical costs and rehabilitates victims who have a right to live with dignity.
Do visit www.hindustantimes.com/stopacidattacks and add power to the petition.
We seek your participation in the fight against acid attacks. You can start at home, by sensitising your family and friends, against a crime that disfigures and scars women.
Lend your voice to a campaign that needs to be fought by each one of us, not just by the victims who have already suffered the worst.
Keep writing in to us and we will keep digging out stories of courage and reporting them in HT.
Join us in the campaign to Stop Acid Attacks.
Stirring the conscience
Over the past 10 days, HT has brought to you real stories of determination and grit shown by victims across the country.
July 21, 2013
Laxmi was 15 when she was pinned down by a man twice her age and splashed with acid. Her face turned a mass of third-degree burns. Now, at 23, she leads a fierce campaign against acid attacks. Read more
July 22, 2013
Meena Soni, Lucknow
Meena Soni was married off at 16 to a jewellery artisan, who stopped working soon after and got jealous that his beautiful wife was managing the family’s finances. He threw acid on a sleeping Meena and, while she was in hospital, committed suicide. Read more
July 25, 2013
Ritu Saini, Rohtak
Ritu Saini was an avid volleyball player. But she found herself a pawn in a family property dispute when her aunt hired criminals to attack Ritu with acid to settle scores with the teenager’s parents. She received 90 per cent burns on her face. Read more .
Treatment of acid attack victims should be free: Krishna Tirath
It’s a long, hard road to recovery for the victims
Finally, a ray of hope for acid attack survivors
Crime and punishment: a new law at last
Acid attacks: a look at India and other countries