It is one of the sad consequences of our unregulated market that some dangerous items meant for use for one thing often get used for another by irresponsible people. One of these is acid. Acid Attacks are the new weapon against not only women but men as well. South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have seen a sharp rise in the attacks using Acids. In India alone at least four cases of attacks are reported every week, and many go unreported.
As sensible humans we all want violence to stop. The gruesome attacks on young girls leave them at the mercy of society, which does strives for perfections and superficial beauty. Many Acid Attack survivors say that it is not the attacker who haunt them as much as the reaction of the society that haunts them.
In case you are one of those who believe in making society society strong and compassionate and are willing to assist Acid Attack survivors, here is how you can step forward and help. It does not need you to be superhuman, just be human. This list has been prepared with the help of one of the campaigners of the Stop Acid Attacks campaign, India’s most active campaign to stop Acid Attacks.
Report the illegal sale of Acid in your locality:
Retail sale of Acid has been banned by the Supreme Court of India. If ever you come across shops where Acid is being sold, you are witnessing a criminal activity. Do not delay. Report this to the nearest Police station. Later you can keep a track of the same shop if it continues to sell the Acid.
Never allow your family members and friends to buy Acid for cleaning purposes:
Charity starts at home. Ensure your family members and friends are not buying Acid for house hold purposes, including toilet cleaning. It is injurious to everybody. Also, when people demand Acid, shopkeepers feel they have to meet that demand and supply it or lose their customers. Reduce the demand. Your contribution is valuable.
Keep a track of news relating to threat of Acid attacks:
It is important to keep track of news relating to Acid Attacks, and threats. Once you start keeping track, you can inform about events to the Stop Acid Attacks campaign and even ensure that there is adequate medical treatment of the victims. The Government has promised to pay medical expenses of the victims. In case the hospital denies, you can raise remind them of their responsibility.
Be a responsible citizen, keep the phone numbers of local police officials handy:
It is very important to keep the phone numbers of local police stations, SHOs, Police Officers in your mobile. In case you witness any unfortunate event, you can directly contact the police officers. Believe me, most of the senior police officers appreciate the role of responsible citizens. You are helping in maintaining law and order of the country.
Raise voice when you see a potential harasser:
Potential harassers are everywhere. It is sad, but a reality of our society. The moment you see a potential harasser, you can be a responsible citizen and inform the the local police. In case you find this a little difficult, you can contact the people at Stop Acid Attacks campaigns who can then pursue it. But reaching out, raising your voice and taking some steps is important. That is what whicwilldifferentiate you from the masses!
Use social media for awareness:
Using social media for awareness is the best possible way we can sensitise more and more people. Share relevant information (one like this article), with as many people as possible. Use your personal network on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to inform those who are still not aware of the issue.
Acid survivors are humans, do not run away from them:
Yes. This is one way to reintegrate the survivors in the society. The moment we walk away from the distorted faces due to the attack, we alienate a few of our fellow humans from society. The least we can do is to give human and society support to those unfortunate enough to be attacked with acid.
Create a better tomorrow where there is a place for everybody, including Acid Attack survivors:
We all are striving towards a better tomorrow. Everybody’s contribution is required to ensure this. A better tomorrow will be a day when every individual will find a place for him/herself. We need to create a system where people, irrespective of being acid attack survivors, find it easy to live normal lives. Creating job opportunity, ensuring their representation in every walk of life is part of it. You do not know, but you can actually make this possible.
Help Stop Acid Attack campaign by becoming a volunteer:
Stop Acid Attacks is a volunteer based campaign. Roles of volunteer include activities like reaching out to survivors, working on RTIs, following cases relating to harassment, et cetera. You can become a part of this campaign from anywhere in the country. If you find yourself fit for any of these, or any other role in which you can help, reach out. Just drop a mail email@example.com and they will contact you.
Donate, so that the campaign is able to function:
Like any other campaign, Stop Acid Attacks need regular flow of money. Many people cannot help physically, but that should not stop you form helping a noble cause. You can contribute monetarily to the campaign. The money is used in treatment of the survivors as well as running a shelter home for the survivors.
Share this piece of information. Lokmarg.com is committed to a better society and a better tomorrow. You never know when your small contribution can actually help in stopping Acid Attacks.
This article was first published by LokMarg.com on July 12, 2015