GN Bureau | January 17, 2015
Highlighting the increasing number of acid attacks and the slow pace of justice for the victims, Stop Acid Attacks campaigners have sent a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi.
Campaigners have requested the PM to ensure that apex court order (PIL, 18-07-13, Laxmi Versus Government of India) to ban the sale of acid is strictly implemented. Besides, the volunteers have demanded quality medical assistance, fast track courts to deal with the issue.
They have also requested PM Mod to ensure that every woman lives with dignity and also lead the south Asian nations in ensuring safety and peace to every woman.
Here is the full text of the letter:
Respected Prime Minister Sir,
To start with, we wish you and entire government a Happy New Year. We hope this new year brings more positivity to our nation, and the humans it is made up of. We hope the struggle to ensure that every human needs to lead a dignified life sees new dimension this year, under your leadership.
Prime Minister Sir, let us accept that Acids have become a new weapon against women in this country. Rather entire South Asian nations have seen emergence of Acids as a new threat to women’s identity. In India, a bottle of Acid is as easily available as any household product or a snack- be it broom, a bottle of water or Cadbury Dairy Milk. There are no concrete steps to ensure that the sale is regulated in retail shops. We need cheaper substitute for Acids for household purposes of cleaning. The state needs to facilitate entrepreneur to come up with ideas and products like cheaper toilet bowl cleaner, cheaper Harpic. If need be, then state can come up with a subsidising plan for Harpic and similar products- which are not life threatening!
Just like any terror attack, the life is divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’ for the person on whom Acid is thrown. In most cases a girl is attacked because she rejects proposal of a ‘man’. The attacks are a proof what the ‘hurt machismo’ can do in society. We need to address this. No man is important enough to take somebody’s identity!
Acids Attacks must not be seen as just burn cases, or any other incident of molesting a girl. The issue is deep rooted. The patriarchal structure of the society gives the confidence to a man to use Acid as a weapon. The entire idea that “a girl cannot say ‘NO’ to me” needs to be challenged. A girl can say NO to ill advances of a man and can very well lead a normal life. Law of the land, and society at large needs to ensure this. But sadly we have not been able to ensure. Sir, we have failed numerous girls. Sir, we have failed numerous dreams. It is high time we keep up our promises.
We at Stop Acid Attacks movement have come up with 10 demands, which we have been sharing over various platforms. Sadly we have faced many hurdles, and even now these demands are on paper.
The demands are mentioned here:
1. The order issued by the Supreme Court (PIL, 18-07-13, Laxmi Versus Government of India) to ban the sale of acid should be quickly followed.
2. Quality medical assistance and facilities should be available free of cost for acid attack fighters.
3. Legally the Acid Attacks should be included in the list of heinous and rarest of rare crimes and through fast track court Acid Attack victims should get justice within 3 months.
4. The investigation of these crimes must be conducted by a special independent committee, and also by police. Police must prepare charge sheet within 15 days.
5. Government help, job and livelihood should be arranged for the acid attack survivors.
6. Central Government should start a plan to know the real statistics of Acid Attack victims, and help various state governments in rehabilitation.
7. A special budget should be allocated to hospitals for training of the para-medical staff to properly take care of the Acid Attack victims.
8. Lower courts should take an initiative to start a separate court which can quickly end up all acid attack cases (old or new).
9. In every capital of the region a budget should be passed to avail the facility of plastic and cosmetic surgery for Acid Attack survivors.
10. By seeing increasing number of this cruelty mostly against women, the state governments must pass a law for Social Reform.
Sir, in your address to the nation you have promised that you will do everything to ensure dignified life to the daughters of the nation. We know your intentions are noble, and you will turn every stone to keep up the promise. We have faith in you and law of the land. But we have to start from the scratch when we talk about Stopping AcidAttacks.
We form part of South Asia, and the countries here are considered developing nations. As India leads the economic front of the region, we also need to set examples by creating models which leads to societal reforms. We are sure that you agree to the fact that only economic development is not what India or any other country requires. We need concrete steps to ensure that every human gets the respect he/she deserves.
With hope for better tomorrow,
Stop Acid Attacks
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