Pension Scheme for Acid Attack Survivors Announced in Uttarakhand
There will be a pension scheme in place for acid attack survivors. Uttarakhand takes the lead in this among states. Rekha Arya, Minister of Women and Child Welfare, Government of Uttarakhand announced a pension scheme for acid attack survivors in the state, as per reports.
The Minister declared the provision of Rs 5000-6000 per month, in order to “ensure that the survivors lead a dignified life after the brutalities they have faced”. The minister stated, “We will be bringing the proposal in the cabinet to get it approved to further implement the scheme. The idea is to support the brave women in achieving their dreams.” Moreover, she condemned violence against women.
The 2017 Order to Trial Courts
After hearing an acid attack case in 2017, the Uttarakhand High Court accepted the fact that the existing provisions failed to prevent this heinous crime on women. Following this, the HC had directed trial courts of the state to hear cases filed under Sections 326A (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc.), 326B (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc.), 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) among others.
Deepika Padukone starrer ‘Chhapaak’, portraying the story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The issues of acid attack are in focus with general public awareness rising on the matter. India has banned over the counter sale of acid however the number of attacks in India has been on the rise as per data out by National Crime Bureau.
The Plight of Acid Attack Survivors
Laxmi Agarwal, the famed acid attack survivor has often said her disfigured face acted as a barrier in getting a job. Hundreds of other survivors have to face a similar fate. Reshma Qureshi who wrote a book about her attack, and walked the ramp at New York Fashion week too has talked of the hardships in society accepting them. Apart from suffering from the immense physical pain, these survivors have to live in a society that gives precedence to appearance over the qualities a person inherits. Such brutal acts render them helpless and monetarily weak. The scheme, on proper enforcement, would surely be of great assistance but we as a society need to change our perception towards the survivors for them to lead better lives. All they need is acceptance instead of pity.
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV