Coming out of any trauma takes a lot of effort and courage. And for people who have been victims of acid attack, it takes much greater effort, will power and support.
Acid attack victim Pragya Singh (30) has not only overcome her trauma but is also helping other victims.
In 2006, Pragya was attacked by a stalker who wanted to marry her, while she was travelling in a train from Varansi to Delhi. She was married just 12 days before the incident and all her dreams were shattered. With great difficulty and support from her family members she came out of the trauma.
She was very fortunate that her husband did not leave her, but supported her. Today she has two daughters.
A postgraduate in fashion management, Pragya is coordinating with doctors and helping other acid victims with their medical needs, post-surgery care and psychological support. Pragya is also the core member of the Stop Acid Attacks campaign. She is running Atijeevan Foundation, through which she is helping the victims.
“Wherever an acid attack takes place in the country, I try to contact the victims and try to help them in getting medical treatment and also offer counselling. I am in contact with quite a number of victims and we are trying to help each other,” she said.
Pragya, who underwent nine surgeries and spent more than `16 lakh on treatment says, “No one knows about the first aid that acid attack victims need to get and what kind of surgeries they have to undergo.”
“Most acid attack victims are poor and their families struggle to pay for medical care. The victims need lot of financial support as they have to undergo quite a number of surgeries and this is where the government and other organisations should come forward and help,” she said.
In a country where two incidents of acid attack take place every week, the government should create a mecanism where the victim can get treatment and moral support, she remarked. Just by bringing stringent laws will not do. We have to create awareness among the people about the pain a acid attack victim undergoes and try to regulate the sale of acids, she said.
Today, I along with three other acid victims, Anu Mukherjee, Shaina and Archana (from Delhi), have come to Hyderabad as BJP NRI women’s wing cell here has offered financial help.