Acid attack is not something unheard of, shocking the conscience of our nation time to time. This is the story of a 25-year-old survivor from Kolkata, who, with her strength and spirit fought against all odds and got her attacker behind the bars.
Four years ago, Sanchayita was attacked by Soumen Saha, her then boyfriend. For the past four years she saved her strength, fought hard and succeeded in punishing the man who threw acid on her. The police on Sunday, March 25th, arrested Soumen.
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Story of pain, strength and soaring spirit.
As reported by the TOI, it was in September 2014, she was on her way with her mother to a shop at Sethbagan, Dum Dum, when a biker stopped right in front of her and threw acid. She tried tilting her head instantly, however, the acid seeped into her skin and the pain became unbearable with every passing second.
Though a case was lodged with the police, the investigation did not progress much. Following this incident, for the next few months Sanchayita Yadav and her mother struggled all the way. Her mother who was a widower for a year by that time, took loans for her treatment, even struggled to save her daughter’s right eye which went in vain.
Sometime after, an NGO that helps acid attack survivors contacted Sanchayita. A human rights NGO, introduced by them, helped Sanchayita presented a case in the Calcutta High Court alleging police inaction. Finally, the probe regarding the case began in 2017 after her statement was recorded before a judicial magistrate’s court.
An officer at Dum Dum police station stated, ” a lot of time had elapsed by then and it was becoming very difficult to nab the attacker. But we managed to arrest the man from Sonarpur on Sunday night.”
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While travelling in a local train, Sanchayita the realisation of social stigma attached to these incidents dawned upon her –
It is not only the physical attack but the social stigma towards the victim which I had to endure. People would laugh at me and make fun of my distorted face. One day I realised that it was time to fight back and from the next day I stopped covering my face with a dupatta.”
Also, realising that her biggest strength would be derived from those who suffered a similar fate. It was when she spoke to other victims whose life had stopped after they were attacked, that she decided to bring light in their lives. The more she connected with them, more her spirit became stronger. In 2016, Sanchayita joined a human rights organisation and started working with them. This made her aware of others’ conditions which were even worse.
On Monday, March 26, when she saw Saha at the police station, she instantly slapped him. She was furious. She said,
For the last four years my life has gone through immense pain and this man was roaming freely. I could not resist myself.”
She further added, “I am waiting for judge to pronounce him guilty. That will instill confidence in me and many like us.”
Also Read: 5 Initiatives Taken For Welfare Of Acid Attack Survivors
Featured image source: IMDB
Bhana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV