Acid Attack Survivors
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Are you familiar with the 2020 Deepika Padukone starrer Bollywood film, Chhapaak? 

Acid attack became a household subject after the release of Chhapaak, a movie starring Deepika Padukone based on the life of Laxmi Aggarwal, an acid attack survivor. At the age of 15, Laxmi was attacked by a 32-year-old man in her neighborhood because she rejected his proposal. She is a campaigner for the rights of acid attack survivors and a TV show host. 

  • Acid Attack Survivors are the people (mostly women) who become victims of the crime of acid throwing.
  • India is among the countries where the highest number of acid attacks happen. 
  • Survivors of acid attacks often suffer severe burns to their faces, necks, and bodies, which can lead to disfigurement, blindness, and even death.
  • Acid attacks can also cause permanent damage to a person's vocal cords, making it difficult or impossible for them to speak or communicate effectively. 
  • Acid attacks can leave lasting physical and emotional scars.
  • Many survivors of acid attacks also suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the Acid Survivors Foundation India, the motives behind acid attacks range from something as simple as a girl rejecting a boy’s gestures of affection, to more deep-seated cultural issues such as dowry. There are around 500-1000 cases every year, notwithstanding the unreported incidents. 

There is a lot of stigma that acid attack survivors have to face in everyday life. Most people don’t like to look at them because of the physical deformity.

However, acid attack survivors are fighters. 

They refuse to be defined by their scars and are actively working towards a brighter future. With the help of medical professionals, therapists and advocates, acid attack survivors are learning to cope with their injuries and lead fulfilling lives. 

Braving this general dislike, a group of acid attack survivors run a café in Agra, Lucknow and Noida. Sheroes Café is entirely managed by survivors and aims to spread awareness about acid attacks and similar heinous crimes. 

There are many NGOs working towards rehabilitation of acid attack survivors like Acid Survivors, Saahas Foundation, Chhanv Foundation, Atijeevan Foundation and others.

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