It was February 2006 when a stalker threw acid on Delhi resident Reenu Sharma's face, blinding and disfiguring her for life. Seven years later, she says she continues to "burn in hell". And she is not just talking about physical and psychological trauma. With no compensation forthcoming from the government, her father had to spend his savings on her facial reconstruction surgery; her sister had to forsake her studies so that she could take care of Reenu.
Horrific as her story is, it is not the only one. According to the UK-based charity Acid Survivors Trust International, 1,500 acid attacks are reported worldwide every year. New Delhi-based group 'Stop Acid Attacks' says around three cases are reported across India every week.
Acid causes severe physical, psychological and social scarring, and victims are often left with no legal recourse and limited access to medical or psychological assistance.
The government has offered to regulate the sale of acid but only after it was shaken out of its bureaucratic apathy by the Supreme Court. It is only one small step forward. The victims - mostly from poor families - cannot afford multiple surgeries. Few are willing to give them jobs.
They deserve to live with dignity.
Sign this petition to urge the government to step in to rehabilitate acid attack survivors with free medical treatment and jobs. The Government needs to do more. You and I need to do more.
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