“My Dreams Broke After Acid Was Poured On My Face”: Chanchal’s Open Letter To CM Nitish Kumar
By Chanchal Paswan:
Dear Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Ji,
I am a 19 year old girl from Patna. My dream was to become a computer engineer and make my family proud. Last year, my dreams were shattered after I had acid poured on my face.
Anil, Ghanshyam, Baadal and Raja used to harass me in my village Chithnava, Thana Maner, (District Patna). They would stalk me, pull my dupatta, pass vulgar comments and make obscene gestures at me. They even threatened me. I was bold and did not pay attention to their threats.
On 21st October 2012, while I was sleeping on the terrace with my younger sister, the four men pinned me down and poured acid on me. Even my sister was hurt in the attack.
When my parents heard us scream, they rushed up to the terrace, that’s when the men ran away. We were rushed to Patna Medical College Hospital, and were admitted in emergency care.
Thankfully, those men were arrested. But our troubles were far from over – we have been trying to seek justice for 7 months now which has been a tough process. My parents have been running from one court to another, from hospitals to medical shops, from the DIG’s office to the District Magistrate – with minimal support from the authorities.
However, I am thankful to organisations across Bihar and other parts of India who have raised funds for my family’s welfare, helping us in dealing with lawyers and doctors. I am also very grateful to Safdarjung hospital that is giving me free treatment for my wounds.
With the help of my well wishers and family I delivered more than 65000 signatures that supported my father’s petition to the District Magistrate of Patna, who has been very supportive. He immediately sent out orders to fast track my case and re-evaluate my compensation. Though the case has now been fast tracked, the compensation is yet to be evaluated.
Despite the fact that I am a major and have been working and supporting my family-I got compensation as a minor. My statement under section 164 hasn’t been taken by the police.
We didn’t get any legal or medical aid from the government. My treatment is lifelong and expensive. My father had to take a loan of 2.5 lacs, which he is already struggling to pay off.
I write to you as a resident of Bihar, an Indian citizen and most importantly as a woman, to get justice for myself and my family and end such atrocities against women in Bihar. It’s a long process to change societal mindset, but I want to fight and make sure that no other woman faces such a heinous act in India again.
I have heard that you are changing Bihar and making it a progressive state, but what’s the point if people still live in fear? I am writing this open letter to you, because I want to fight such injustice. Will you as a Chief Minister of Bihar support me?
Looking forward to your response,