Forty Women Survivors of Acid Attacks Seek Support to Battle Stigma and Reclaim Their Lives

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Bangalore: As people across the world speak out about prejudice against women this International Women’s Day, GiveIndia and Chhanv Foundation have launched a fundraiser to help 40 acid attack survivors recover and restart their lives.

Victims of this heinous crime who come to Chhanv Foundation for help have endured unimaginable horrors, some at a very young age. The women confront deep-rooted biases and discrimination and exclusion from society for the physical disfigurement that the attack causes. The foundation is committed to helping survivors embrace life again with long-term medical treatment, legal aid, and avenues for employment.

Rejection in love, marriage and sexual advances are some of the main reasons for being attacked. Since many girls and women belong to low-income families, they are not able to heal their physical and emotional scars, and often struggle to even obtain timely medical care for their disfigurement. Chhanv Foundation has supported the treatment and rehabilitation of over 50 acid attack survivors, and 30 of them manage Sheroes cafes in Lucknow and Agra.

However, there are many more who await costly surgeries to fully recover and move ahead with their lives. To support the physical and mental rehabilitation of 40 such women across the country, GiveIndia and Chhanv Foundation have joined hands to raise  ₹1 Crore.

Alok Dixit, Founder, Chhanv Foundation, said: “Acid attackers target the face of their victims in a bid to isolate them from society, and sadly, society reacts exactly as they expect. We recognize how devastating such a rejection can be to survivors, and all of us at Chhanv Foundation are dedicated to helping them at a very early stage, to provide them with the critical treatment necessary for their severe injuries.

“The last two years have been especially trying as we faced a crisis of funds, and by partnering with GiveIndia, we hope to breathe new life into our efforts and secure the well-being and future of as many survivors as possible. We strongly believe that if people support acid attack survivors in their fight against such despicable crimes, the perverted purpose of the attackers will be defeated.”

This International Women’s Day, people across the world are pledging to #BreakTheBias against women and pave the path for an equitable future. Chhanv Foundation embodies this initiative in the work they do, challenging the prevailing stigma faced by acid attack survivors.

GiveIndia COO Sumit Tayal said: “An acid attack can leave the victim disfigured for life, both physically and mentally. But the survivors can fight back and reclaim their lives with the help of organisations like the Chhanv Foundation, which has been doing stellar work by helping acid attack survivors with medical aid and rehabilitation.

“This Women’s Day, as the world recognises and acknowledges the importance of breaking harmful biases against women, GiveIndia is launching a fundraiser to help Chhanv Foundation bring change in the lives of acid attack survivors across the country. Through our joint campaign, we hope to channel the generous support of women and men against biases of all kinds and help acid attack survivors reclaim their lives and inspire many others.”