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ACID SURVIVORS FOUNDATION INDIA organized Work shop on "Acid Violence" held on 10.11.12 in Institute for Inspiration & Self Development, Saltlake, at 3pm

A brief Report

As a part of the efforts to address the issue of acid violence in the country, Acid Survivors Foundation India (ASFI) organized  a  Seminar  of stakeholders which includes some of the NGOs,  Acid attack  Survivors, Governing Council members of ASFI.

On the dais -

  • Juctice G.C.De-  Retd. High court Judge
  • Dr. Samir Banerjee- eminent Plastic Surgeon
  • Dr. R.N Chakraborty- Educationist
  • Dr. Subhas Chakraborty- Medical Consultant & Executive Director,ASFI

1. Participants - The event brought together lawyers, eminent medical practitioners, plastic surgeon, educationists, civil society groups & acid attack survivors

2. Theme - The workshop focused on four thematic areas such as

  • Need for collaboration, networking & information sharing for the best interest of the victims
  • To achieve the NGOs cooperation in the care and rehabilitation of acid victims by availing their facilities
  • Government policies & prevailing laws
  • Legal & psychological support to the victims

3. Topics Discussed - The programme was both interactive & educative with ideas flooding from the participants. Justice G.C De presided the meeting

Dr. R.N Chakraborty made the welcome speech. Dr. Samir Banerjee who specializes in treating burn injuries said that for the last 4/5 years India has made some progress in dealing with burns cases. While West Bengal strives to achieve some progress in terms of treating acid burn cases with only one burns unit at Government level Hospital in the entire state, Chennai has made some progress.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of ASFI, Dr. Subhas Chakraborty , said that the struggle to end acid violence cannot be effectively won alone but with the support from informed civil society groups at the grassroots. He made a power point presentation on ASF-India. Addressing the participants, he emphasized on establishing a pan-India network to deal with the acid violence & crime against women in general.

Acid attack survivor, Rita Paul who was compelled to swallow acid by her husband & mother-in- law,  recounted her horrific experience. In this context Dr. Samir Banerjee informed about the physiological severity when acid is poured into the oesophagus. Another survivor Moyna Praminik narrated her experience who was burnt with both kerosene & acid. It is the travesty of our judicial system that acid victim Sonali Chakraborty  who was thrown carbolic acid by her husband, lost her case of domestic violence in the court of law.

As a part of interactive session the following opinions/suggestions/ideas were made :

  • To  put more emphasis on legal standing as no stringent law exists to prosecute the attacker. Therefore recommendations must be made to the Parliament for introducing special Act for punishment.
  • A senior lawyer who has attended the event, raised his voice for strong legal measures, enactment of laws, social responsibility of persons at the helm of affairs must be expedited.
  • To observe a day in the year as "Acid Victims Day"
  • Whether it is possible to enable the victim to get compensation from the culprit itself ?
  • As a part of networking & to overcome the barriers of distance, small informal groups across districts & sub-divisional towns needs to be set up which will act as a primary source information regarding acid victims which will enable ASFI to access relevant information at the grassroots.
  • Issuing booklets, leaflets, on acid violence & on ASFI in regional language to reach masses, involving media to propagate messages on acid violence.
  • Political lobbying & reaching people’s representatives with specific cases, cooperation of panchayats to make the issue visible & obtaining views.
  • Construction of model hospital for the treatment of burns only & working on it.

4. Materials Distributed -  A folder consisting a write-ups on - ASFI & its activities,  acid violence cases, ASTI leaflets, Books on Swami Vivekananda, current issue of a leading magazine, writing pad & pen.

5. Executive Director appealed the NGOs to have a meeting on weekly basis for mutual information sharing & suggestions.

The meeting ended with the vote of thanks by the Executive Director.

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