27 March 2014

Stop Acid Attacks.

This friend of mine, Ganapathy Premkumar is riding his bicycle down from Bombay to Bangalore to raise awareness about the everyday issues of acid attack survivors. He's also trying to raise some funds for the NGOs working for them.

How bad is an acid attack, really?

Till I was 20 or so (despite clearing chemistry papers at school), I used to think that acid just damages someone's skin. That's the part of a survivor that is visible to us. I thought that the aim of an acid attack is to damage a person's looks because that's all it affects. It was something spurned ex-es and rejected villains did in the movies.

In reality though, skin damage is the least of the person's problems. It marks them permanently and possibly destroys the self confidence in weaker individuals, yes, but there are worse consequences. Acid attacks bore through the skin and affect the internal systems (respiratory, visual, auditory, digestive etc) based on what part of the person the acid was thrown at. The acid doesn't vanish once it damages the skin. It eats right through the person based on the strength / quantity.

So many women have died after short and long battles to survive an attack. So many others are fighting for their lives everyday. Homes have been uprooted and lives have been destroyed - and why? Domestic violence and spurned love are still the top reasons men resort to an attack. Read extensive details about the current scenario in our country at StopAcidAttacks and Chhanv.

I'd like to believe that not all the kids and the youth who go to this place where they think an acid attack is necessary to prove a point are psychopaths. I think some of them don't realise that they're ending someone's life. Awareness of the consequences of their actions is so essential to stopping the madness out there but is sadly not getting the push it deserves - and this is not just among the illiterate masses.

Before going any further, check out what StopAcidAttacks has to say about what can improve the situation in India.

The best thing you could do is donate to the above NGOs, through the link or through their sites. I'm not exactly sure how riding a bicycle helps, but it has certainly given me (and his other friends) this push to write about it or talk about it - and for this, I thank Ganapathy.

The next best thing you could do is to spread the news of the FB page & the donation link among your friends. The absolutely terrible odds & demons that the survivors / fighters face in life on a daily basis are overwhelming. The least we could do is make everyone aware of all the consequences of such an attack.

I don't know about you but I can never be as strong as these survivors. True fighters. I salute them all.