Around a thousand women are victim to acid attacks per year in India. Acid attacks in India have a gender aspect to them: analyses of reports revealed that at least 72% of reported attacks included one female victim. 34% of the analysed print media in India cited rejection of marriage or refusal of sexual advances by women as the cause of the attack and even dowry disagreements have shown to spur acid attacks. Land, property, and/or business disputes accounted for 20% of acid assaults.
Most survivors experience a dramatic change in their lifestyle and face social isolation that damages their self-esteem and economic position. The trauma stems from excruciating pain and unbearable shock compounded by social rejection even by their own family members.
Kaanchi Chopra, a young artist from Delhi, designed a series of illustrations with the sole purpose of changing the mindset of how the general public looks at acid attack survivors and even how the victims look at themselves.
“You hold the acid that charred my dreams.
Your heart bore no love. It had the venom stored.
There was never any love in your eyes. They burn me with caustic glance.
I am sad that your corrosive name will always be part of my identity that I carry with this face.
Time will not come to my rescue. Every surgery will remind me of you.
You will hear and you will be told that the face you burned is the face I love now.
You will hear about me in the darkness of confinement.
The time will be burdened for you.
Then you will know that I am alive, free and thriving and living my dreams.”
Kaanchi, the illustrator shares,
“Scars and bruises on the bodies of the survivors should not be a sight of pity. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”Read: http://wp.me/p7eOCO-Lz”]These marks should be considered beautiful.[/inlinetweet] Victims should not feel insecure about their appearance but should sense a feeling of pride because they were strong enough to survive the inhumane incident.
I’ve doodled the various parts which are disfigured because these floral patterns beautify their face and soul. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”read: http://wp.me/p7eOCO-Lz”]Their marks, scars and bruises are nothing but doodles on their bodies[/inlinetweet] – an everlasting impression of their courage and strength.”
Thanks Kaanchi, for beauty and strength.
Poetry by Laxmi.
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