She was just 15 years old when a man twice as old as her threw acid on her face and ran away. The man kept proposing her prior the attack and she kept on refusing. As a revenge, he along with his two companions threw acid on her face while she was shopping. She went through nine major operations to reduce the pain. Her last operation landed her on ventilation for four days.
This girl is Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor and a hope for all the acid attack survivors. Like Laxmi's case, there are more than 1000 attacks that took place in the year 2016. We salute Laxmi's courage that she gathered the strength to start it all over again. But the question remains, WHY SUCH SITUATIONS HAPPEN? WHY ACID ATTACK? WHAT IS IT?
Here are some details about acid attacks that you must know.
The most common acids used by the perpetrator are hydrochloric, sulphuric or nitric acid. But little is it known that it only takes 5 seconds for acid to cause surface burns and 30 seconds for full-thickness burns.
It causes an immediate damage and pain. It starts affecting the skin so fast that it can even melt the victim's skin and can also lead to dissolving the bones.
The most common reasons that have been recorded as the cause for acid attacks are till now are gender-based violence and domestic disputes.
Acid burns require immediate treatment. Since it continues to burn the skin and can cause skeletal damage or organ failure, the victims need to get constant physical therapies and surgeries. It is all important so that the scars don't harm other parts of the body.
Do you think that acid attacks in India are common because it is available at very low cost? To add to that there are no legal restrictions on buying and selling of acid. And it is also among the most common cleaning agent in households.
Organisations like Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) works for gender-based violence discrimination. This organisation also works for the justice of men and boys.
The victims are suggested to flush gently-flowing water for at least half an hour on the affected areas. Plus, while flushing the water, they must keep their eyelids open to rinse every last residue of acid.
The victims must not soak the burn in water and also not use fluffy cloth like a towel or blanket.
An average acid attack survivor goes through 15-20 surgeries and each surgery costs Rs 2-4 lakhs.
It is not just the body of an acid attack victim that gets affected, it is their confidence, their motivation that gets injured. They must be stopped.
That's all, readers.
Like Laxmi, if you have an inspirational story to share, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org