Monday, October 13, 2014

Indian victims of horrific acid attacks are relying on the generosity of strangers to help them after failing to get any financial support from their government

Acid attacks are sadly common in India, often targeting women in public places as a form of revenge linked to family disputes, sexism or misogyny. One victim, Reshma Qureshi, 18, was disfigured and lost an eye after her brother-in-law and his friends pinned her down and doused her face with acid. Reshma's elder sister Gulshan, whose estranged husband carried out the attack in May 2014, witnessed the assault and suffered burns on her arms, but wishes she had been the main target. The family believe Reshma was singled out because of her beauty and popularity. The once pretty and out-going commerce student now describes her face as "so scary" as she has an empty eye socket and painful scars. She no longer socializes with friends but hides away in her family's cramped Mumbai home. She faces lifelong scars and the social stigma attached to being an acid attack victim. Reshma should have received swift state aid after India's top court ruled that victims were entitled to 100,000 rupees (£1015) within 15 days of an assault and a total of 300,000 rupees (£3046) in compensation. But, five months later, she is yet to receive a penny.

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