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About the Fundraiser
For donations overseas – http://bit.ly/NeetuSheroes
The highest numbers of acid attack cases have been recorded in Uttar Pradesh. Generally, in an acid attack the perpetrator targets the face to throw acid and often the eyes of the victimized get injured in the attack. In Uttar Pradesh, the girls who fall victim of such attack do not find adequate eye treatment to recover. In India, there are only two hospitals where such cases can be treated – Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai and Dr. LV Prasad Eye Hospital in Hyderabad. Taking a part in Stop Acid Attacks campaign, I’m trying to gain support for many of such girls making it possible for them that they receive their eye treatment in Sankara Nethralaya. This will be a long going treatment drive for as many as 50 acid attack survivor girls associated with Stop Acid Attacks campaign.
At present this crowdfunding campaign is also live on another platform on which the funds are being raised by an acid attack survivor Pramodini Raul for herself, Neetu and Anshu (bit.ly/NeetuSheroes). This fund being raised by Pramodini will support the immediate expenses of those currently going through their treatment. Meanwhile I am starting the campaign here on Ketto to help the treatment drive continue for the other needful acid attack survivors.
Your support can bring back vision to girls who have survived heinous crimes like acid attacks in their past. Pramodini (Raani), Anshu and Neetu have lost their eyes in an acid attack on them years ago. It is very unfortunate for these girls that in the act of crime, they were the victim. The perpetrator who commits an acid attack usually targets the face of the girl. In such an attempt, more often than not, the acid splashed on the face goes ruining her nose, lips, cheeks, chin, ears and in many cases – the eyes. The bright side of the story is that these girls have recently been diagnosed by the doctors at the Sankara Nethralaya – Eye Hospital in Chennai and the reports suggest that with proper treatment, the vision can be restored that was once damaged in acid attack.
We are gathering voluntary and monetary support to help these 3 girls go through their eye treatment in Chennai so that their vision can be restored at least if not the entire face.
Every girl who has been a victim of acid attack, will speak her own story of the violence she has faced, their everyday struggles are same. Anshu’s story goes back in 2014 when she was 17, a high school student living with her family in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. She was being followed and pursued by a man, aged 55 years old, on her way to school and back. It started slowly one day when this man noticed her and then sooner in the following months it started becoming worse than ever before. In the beginning, she used to ignore but when she felt troubled due to such incidents, she decided to speak up to her parents as it was getting scarier. She gathered all her courage and tells her parents about it, who then went on to confront the man following her and his family. It grew into agitation between two families and just a week after the same person breaks into her house in the midnight and throws acid on Anshu when she was sleeping.
Geeta and Neetu are mother and daughter living in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Almost 20 years ago, it was Geeta’s husband who acid attacked Geeta and Neetu (and one more infant, who did not survive the attack) in the midnight when Geeta was sleeping along with her two little children. Neetu, 24 years old, was 3 years old when she was attacked. It was an issue of domestic violence and dowry which resulted in such an acid attack on Neetu and her mother. All these years they have not only been stigmatized by the neighbors, Neetu has also survived with the deformity she has been grown up with caused in her body parts due to acid burn. Neetu had lost her vision in the attack. Her father was the only earning member and while he served his term of punishment for the crime, her mother used to do petty jobs as dish cleaner and crafted sweet boxes to earn a living and survive. In 2014, a team of prominent Stop Acid Attacks campaign initiated a café project Sheroes’ Hangout for girls like Neetu in Agra, where Neetu and Geeta have been resorted to serve at the café and also get an earning opportunity.
Pramodini (Rani) Raul, 24 years old is a native of a village near Bhubaneshwar, Orrisa. Back in 2009, there was an army camp set up near home, she used to pass that road to her intermediate school she was reading in. A person from the camp started to notice her and soon he started taking interest in Rani. He managed to find out residence and personal contact of Rani and continued to call her on her number very often. Most of his calls used to go unanswered and Rani kept finding herself stuck in this situation when one day she decided to confront him. To the one-sided one expressed by that man, Rani sorted that she is so young to decide for marriage. She asked him to wait for at least 6 years if he were supposed to marry her, so that she can complete her studies. He was not ready for that, he gave her two and the only options, either she must marry him soon or she must allow him to get into physical relationship with her. Rani denied to either of two options. Few days after, while she was returning to her home with her cousin by bicycle he stopped her and threw acid on her. In this horrific incident, she lost her vision completely. Rani still aspires to continue her life like any other girl. She still continues to hope for a better future for herself and that can happen if we can help her restore her vision.
Anshu, Neetu and Rani have been diagnosed in the Sankara Nethralaya – Eye Hospital in Chennai recently. The doctors say, there is still a possibility for these girls to restore their vision. The situation is alarming however. It is a specialized hospital for eye treatment in India, particularly in cases of acid burns.
The government of U.P. has provided accreditation to Sankara Nethralaya. It has made it possible for any acid attack surviving women residing in U.P. may receive eye treatments from the respective hospital in Chennai. It is a sigh of relief for acid attack survivors like Anshu and Neetu that now they are entitled for free of cost treatment at the respective hospital.
For Rani, the case is different. We need to raise funds for her eye treatments because there exist no such provisions made by the government of Orissa for medical treatments of women who survived acid attacks in that state. In her case, she will have to pay the medical fee for her eye treatment. After her case of acid attack, Rani was receiving her eye treatment from a hospital in Hyderabad. She could not continue her eye treatment in Hyderabad because her family ran short of funds. The doctors at Sankara Nethralaya suggest that it is an alarming situation for Rani. If she does not receive her eye treatments as soon as possible she might lose her vision permanently.
The duration of the treatment that the doctors at the respective hospital suggest may span over a year. With the organization working behind Stop Acid Attacks campaign in India and towards benefitting such acid attack survivors is planning to help these girls during the entire span of treatment such that the treatment can go along till the end of it. During the first few months, it will take multiple surgeries for these girls and medical rehabilitation routine at the hospital even when they are discharged in between surgeries. Therefore, we need to settle a shelter for the patients and their family attendants in Chennai. This shelter needs basic household amenities and has to offer a cool environment for the acid burn patients to stay while their treatments.
We need to support these brave girls with other expenses that they will require while their treatment continues far away from their residence, in Chennai. These expenses are estimated to cover the cost of travelling of the patient along with attendants between Uttar Pradesh / Orissa and Chennai, everyday commute between hospital and shelter in Chennai, household utilities and consumption of food for 12 months approximately. There must overhead costs of aftercare of the patients when they are discharged from the hospital.
Present Day Situation
Neetu is already going through her treatment which was scheduled once she had already consulted with the doctors last month. She has been treated just today for her right eye with which she was able to see but only slightly. After she fell victim in the acid attack when she was just 3 years ago, today after 24 years she has finally resorted to treatment. It has been her only dream to have a vision. Seems it will soon turn into reality for her.
With the help of some volunteers residing in Chennai, a documentary maker Emma and her filming crew from Australia and team of Stop Acid Attacks campaign it has been possible so far to help Neetu with her treatment. To continue her treatment and further help other many acid attack survivors with their treatments scheduled further we need your kind help and support.
For Treatment Drive Over 12 Months (In INR)
Rental home: 300,000
Household Utilities: 30,000
Travel (Railways): 200,000
Aftercare of patients: 80,000
Total Estimated Budget: 7,30,000 INR
Please share and bring support to help acid attack survivors restore their vision and hope they can look towards a better future.
Let us help these brave girls dream again with healthy eyes!