For some girls, their day begins with fears of impending harassment. Harassment takes place everywhere - at bus stops, stations, colleges and any, and every public place! The incident I am writing about will send shivers up your spine.
I spoke to a few girls who take several precautions to safeguard themselves against harassment, ever since one of them suffered at the hands of some mischief-mongers a few months back near a coffee shop. "I always keep a knife in my handbag to deal with any emergency situation. I have come here to study. I can't bother my parents or college administration on this." one said.
Here’s a story of a brave and courageous woman who deserves a grand salute. She is suffering in immense pain, and I have reproduced her story below, as she narrated it, in her own words:
I was severely injured in an acid attack that left me with a burnt face and body, blind and partially deaf. I was just 23-years-old then. Two assailants poured acid on me while I slept. Before I could realize I felt as if my body was on fire and I collapsed.
They punished me because I dared to complain against their teasing. I saw two men surrounding a girl. The men smiled at the girl, but it was only a matter of minutes, possibly seconds, before the smiles turned into a blur of pawing, grabbing hands. Their indecent behaviour was punctuated by cheers, laughter and explicit comments in disgust language.
When I warned them, they told me I was haughty and proud about my looks. They said they will ruin my face beyond recognition. I overlooked their words but what they did to satisfy their ego is evident in front of me. My body has been ruined physically.
After my complaint, the accused were immediately taken into custody, but were released on bail after two years. My brother and I approached the higher authorities for justice but no one listened. Since then, they are roaming Scot-free.
It’s been more than 15-years that they have been fighting a case against them and requesting the authorities to cancel their bail but no success has come their way yet.
They are in extreme pain since the incident and don't have the capacity to withhold it anymore - neither the money nor the hope. Her brother has spent everything they had to keep her alive – land, jewelry, everything! Her treatment has already cost them too much - as a result of which they owe a lot of money to their relatives. Additionally, substantial amount of money has been spent on the court cases and still money is required for her further treatment and follow ups. Justice has been denied.
Written by Aakshi Kalra