CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
Acid attacks have become rampant in India. Astonishingly, they turned out to become the top 5 major and severe crimes in the country. There has been an expeditious need to find a remedy satisfactory to tackle the rising number of acid attacks. And remedy in sense, meant both in terms of punishment and compensation. Before directly plunging into the results of an acid attack, let’s first analyse the causal effect of acid attacks in India. The questions which hover over the minds of a person wanting to know about acid attacks, would be – why do they happen? What are the social and economical impact upon them and their impact upon the social and economical conditions? What’s the fundamental connection with the doer and the act? Has this got anything to do with the psychological breakdown or is it just another sadistic approach of man? The answers, to all these is what the paper would contain. The ignominy acid attacks bring to the society plugged with them is the similar humiliation it brings to the person hurt with the acts of brutality in acid attacks. Acid is not just a liquid of smoking vitriol. The acidic content it contains is enough to fade away the very profile of the face of the person attacked with. It not only abashes the face, but also puts a deep dent in the heart with no hopes of recovery.
A majority of such incidents occur in the remote areas of every country, where, the woman is left with no hope of living and null hope of achieving justification for the act of the criminal, but to yield to the demands of such loathful creatures. Keeping this on track an organisation named AFSPA acted as a voice for these voiceless victims of acid attacks. They lent their courage to them, and insisted them to walk out of their doors and let the world know of their hardships. Acting as a bolster to their need, AFSPA helped them in a lot many ways. Nonetheless, the justice has only responded by giving no hint of the actions.
The causes for acid attack vary a lot. First as per the statistics, acid attacks are made by people under sadistic revenge against a person. It usually happens when that person who holds a grudge against another person, in view of some incidents that happened in the past where the latter has disproved or rejected some plea or request of the former or has ignored his presence at all, turned the former into a stage of unforgiving monster wanting to destroy the profile of the person usually women, and hence take to drastic measures like spilling acid on them. Such people don’t feel ashamed or plead pardon when arrested or caught. All they let out is their rage that’s been satiated by damaging the professional and social profile of the victim. Acid not only disfigures a person but also maims and tortures and kills that person both inside outside.
The second cause for acid attacks is done by people innate sadistic nature. They never feel any tinge of remorse or regret when hurting another person. They don’t only commit such attacks on women, but on men as well. Such people turn out to be notorious criminals committing such heinous crimes upon the helpless. These two vital causes lead to some horrific occurrences outside on roads, in cafes, shopping malls, theatres, colleges and also at homes. Acid disfiguration kills the person in the inside first before harming any of the external features, because the person lose mental balance after finding out the truth about the great loss she had, and in other words the woman affected loses her self- esteem as explained in Rosenberg’s scale.. Acid spilling, they are never done by accident, but deliberate. The consequences of acid attacks are:
- Loss of display profile. Irrecoverable damages done to the skin and chances of getting affected with renal failure, de pigmentation of skin, septicaemia and sometimes death;
- Impaired vision ;
- loss of ability to speak and hear;
- Part deformation of skull;
- Possibilities of the nose to shrink, which may completely destroy the cartilage and shut down the nostrils;
- Heavy expenses on treatment for acid victims like – plastic surgery, skin replacement, dental replacements, face lift, hair re transplantation, eye surgery, etc. Such treatments are generally charged at exorbitant rates, and are not availed by every acid attack victim who cannot afford such expenditure;
- Inhalation of acid fumes may create respiratory problems;
- Loss of education, job and matrimonial prospects;
- Constant jeers from the society, creates more self consciousness leading to depression and anxiety sometimes furthering to suicide;
- Physical handicappedness
- Loss of dignity and meaning in life.
INDIAS ROLE IN ERADICATING ACID CRIMES
The main objective of ASFI is to eradicate violence caused by acid and enlighten the society upon the valued human rights, that has become a main criteria for any human being especially women all around the world. It advocates along with a million survivors of acid to empower women and bring a new meaning to the life of the victim survivors and lead a life with dignity. The formation of ASFI in India has a noteworthy history. A chronological history of acid attack survivors, who led a life of despair and utter misery, which they didn’t want their significant others to suffer. There were about 309 acid attack cases in 2014, that only means a steep 300% rise within three years. Out of those 309, 186 have happened solely in Uttar Pradesh. Some of those prominent case laws like Parivartan Kendra v Union of India, the supreme court increased the compensation awarded to the victim up to 10 Lakhs, which as of now seemed to be really insufficient for expending on injuries caused out of acid corrosion. After hearing to the pleas of some acid attack victims like Sonali Mukherjee, Preeti rathi(who succumbed to the injuries later), Razaq and many more the Supreme Court also passed a decree to add the victims of acid attack under the disability list, which another positive result was coming out of this case, because it would grant them direct benefits a disabled person gets. As of now, the Indian Supreme court has passed a decree mandating every private hospital to give free corrective surgery to acid attack victims.
REFORMS THAT NEED TO BE DONE
The repercussions of acid attacks like divorce, bring more distress into the life of the person. Isolation is one of the greatest negative impacts in the lives of a man, and especially women. In order to prevent such brutal happenings done by a small bottle of corrosive liquid corroding the life of a person in minutes, measures were suggested:
- Licensing the seller to sell acid;
- Recording and keeping an account of all the buyers of acid and the purpose of purchasing the liquid. In case, it is found to be for wrongful purpose, the buyer can deny access to the liquid;
- Provide job opportunities for them according to their qualifications;
- Stringent measures to control the sale of acid like increasing tax, vat, and strict rules of compliances the seller has to abide with;
- Mandating free corrective aid;
- Increasing the compensation awarded to the survivors and granting it proportionate with the gravity of injuries done to the victim;
- Providing free rehabilitation provisions for mentally degraded and depressed victims;
- And, hiking the prices of acid in object to restrict free trade of acid in the country.
The in humane and ill abuse of this corrosive liquid has counted in many precious and innocent lives of the victims. To secede the cruel abusers from actually gaining or procuring the liquid into their hands is actually the present motive of the government, which would might succeed in the near future. It needs to be brought to the kind notice of the public that the acid spiller is violating not one fundamental rights of the person, but multiple. Right to life as in article 21, Right to live with dignity, Right to equality in article 14, right against discrimination as in article 15 and debarring the person from availing opportunities that she might avail if she didn’t become an acid victim as in article 16. In scope of this situation, taking draconian measures to limit the sale of acid in the market should and must be done. Since, the issue is an ongoing process and still haven’t concluded with anything , it needs to be brought to the general purview of the public how dangerous and life threatening would the presence of acid be on the safety of women especially in India. The places where acids like Sulphuric acid, nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are bought are from motor repair shops, cosmtic stores, gold and other jewellery stores, where such acids are used for other different purposes. Circumscribing the purchase from these shops must be mandated, with stringent punishment measures. Hence, regulation of acid sales must be a mandate giving light to the several problematic conditions faced by the victims of acid attacks.