At the Sheroes cafe in Gomti Nagar, which is managed by acid attack survivors, there isn’t any dearth of visitors ever since the chief minister went to the hospital to meet gang rape and acid attack survivor Kamla (name changed), 38, who was forced to drink acid on a train.
Despite the rush, that the survivors always looked forward to, there isn’t any cheer on the faces of the Sheroes staff. In addition to worrying about their friend Kamla’s recovery, their own safety is also on top of their mind.
“Kamla had been receiving threats for long. In fact, the matter was reported to the police and the SSP paid a visit to the cafe. But no security was given to Kamla. Similar is our situation. We all have our perpetrators moving freely and threatening us,” said a survivor working at the cafe, Garima Awasthi.
The survivors told that one of their colleague, Roopali Vishwakarma, an acid attack survivor had also been getting threat calls. But no security has been provided to her.
“She has currently gone to her village in Ghazipur. Vishwakarma needs security and the information about the threat calls were given to the police. However, she hasn’t got any security yet,” said the survivors at the cafe.
There wasn’t much cheer among the survivors over the promptness shown by the police in arresting the two men accused in Kamla’s case. “We had long been demanding their arrest but police paid deaf ear. Were they waiting for this incident to happen? In fact are we all waiting for yet another incident to take place?,” said Reshma, a survivor at the Sheroes cafe.
Ashish, a volunteer at the ‘Stop Acid Attack campaign’ said, “We want to demand security for the cafe since it is an open place and allows free entry to everyone. In such a case, there must be a security personnel to ensure the safety of the survivors working at the cafe.”