— BuzzFeed India (@BuzzFeedIndia) December 6, 2016
Acid attacks in India are a horrifying reality, with 85% of survivors being women. And when it comes to how seriously our law, between 2010-2014, 81% of perpetrators were able to obtain bail, with 49% of them absconding. Due to intense shame and stigma, acid attack survivors are still not accepted as a part society (Think – can acid attack survivors occupy malls and parks and restaurants freely?) and our unrealistic beauty standards and rigid definition of what’s “attractive” and what’s not, don’t help at all either.
Acid attack survivors also find it difficult to get employment as many workplaces can’t fight the shame and stigma either. But that onus is on all of us – to ensure that every citizen gets a fair shot at work, because every citizen deserves it!
For instance, Sheroes Hangout Café in Agra is run by acid attack survivors who also spread awareness about the issue, and get more people to join the fight against open acid sale in India (which continues despite an SC order). In September 2016, Reshma Qureshi, an acid attack survivor broke barriers and walked the ramp at the NY Fashion Week, talking about the issue globally. Such stories help deepen the conversation and create space for a better, more equal society in India, and we hope to see many more like these soon!
If you run an organisation or are a part of an organisation that seeks to offer jobs to acid attack survivors, do write to Make Luv Not Scars.