Roopa is an acid attack victim and a survivor from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. In 2008, her life changed forever when her stepmother poured acid on her face while sleeping.
Later, Chhanv Foundation supported her with employment, medical and legal aid.
“I ran around crying in extreme pain on the streets. The villagers were stunned to see my face melt. But no one came for any aid. In fact, nobody knew what to do as they witnessed an acid attack victim for the first time.
“Even before that frightful day, all I knew was only pain for 13 years. My mother succumbed to the pain while giving birth to my younger brother. Soon after, my dad remarried, but he hid the truth that he already had two kids. My stepmother was infuriated, and she started torturing my little brother and me.
“I was dropped out of school and made to work in the fields. Despite toiling hard, I had to endure torture regularly. Two days before the dreadful incident, my stepmother beat me mercilessly to the extent that I bled and had a high body temperature. My mind kept telling me that something more terrible was going to happen. My fears came out to be true. One day, while I was asleep, she poured acid on my face.
The village head finally took me to the nearby hospital in Muzaffarnagar, where I had to wait for 16 hours to get treated.
‘My Stepmother Tried To Poison My Juice’
Even after this incident, my stepmother didn’t spare me. She tried to kill me in the hospital by poisoning my juice. Luckily, I followed the nurses’ advice to avoid eating or drinking anything.
I filed a police case against her, but she was released from jail within a few months. She was more enraged than before. She again tried to kill me, but I ran away from home this time.
‘Chhanv Foundation Changed My Life’
During my hospital visits, I met an acid attack survivor friend who told me about Chhanv Foundation-an NGO working for the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors. I got in touch with them. The organisation helped restore my faith in humanity. They counselled me, helped with my treatment and made me financially independent by giving me a job at Sheroes Cafe. I found myself in a close-knit family. I want to move on with my life.
“So far, I have undergone 16 surgeries, with more 4-5 to go. Without Chhanv, I wouldn’t have known there’s a world outside where I will be treated with the utmost respect and where I don’t have to hide my scars or fear about my future.”
Note: The story is originally posted by Atul Satija-Founder & CEO at The/Nudge Foundation, on his LinkedIn profile.