(Delhi) “As a kid I was very fond of dancing. In those days, TV was not available in every household so I used to watch TV at my neighbour’s house. I also started learning dance and then I went to Bombay where I worked in dance bars. I used the money to send my 7-year old brother to school. I came back to Delhi and continued dancing in a hotel. I was very beautiful and my work was much appreciated.
Another girl, working in the same hotel grew insecure because of my work. She had worked in the hotel for over 4 years and said that her work is being hampered because of me. One day she threatened me that if I don’t leave my job at the hotel, she will throw acid at my face. I filed a complaint against her. In the evening two police officers from the police station came to the hotel where I worked. The police called the owner of the hotel, the other girl and me. She apologized several times in front of the owner and police officers. Everyone asked me to forgive her, and so I forgave her.
One evening as I was leaving for work, her brother was standing at the corner of my house with acid in his hand. The moment I was about to enter an auto-rickshaw, her brother threw acid at me. My face and clothes burnt immediately. I started screaming for help. There were a few people around who poured water and milk to ease my pain. The auto-rickshaw driver gave his shirt to me to cover my body as my clothes had burnt and my chest was bare. I was taken to a hospital, where doctors immediately started my dressing. I was in the ICU for three months, and my treatment went on for a long time.
Not only was my face disfigured, I lost my eyesight too. My nose had melted because of the attack and as a result I couldn’t even breathe. Recently, I spent Rs. 2.5 lakhs on restructuring of my nose. I also went to a lot of hospitals for my eye treatment. I went to hospitals in Delhi, Amritsar, Hyderabad, and they all could not help me in restoring my eyesight. I went to a very reputed hospital in Chennai where they said they could restore my eyesight but I will have to stay there for over 6 months and will have to pay around Rs. 8-10 lakhs for my treatment.
In the court case, I pleaded that I lost my eyesight and don’t have parents to support me and needed life long support. After 7 years in the fast track court, only Rs. 2 lakhs of compensation was granted to me by the court, out of which, I received Rs. 1.4 lakhs. This is the story of our country. The girl and her brother were sentenced for only 5 years of imprisonment. After spending six months in the jail they were released on bail and till date they are out leading a normal life, while I have spent all my savings on my treatment. Today, I am under a debt of Rs. 7 lakhs. My brother left his studies and took a job to support me. I went to national and local leaders and to a lot of other people but have received no help so far. After 12 years of the incident, my case is still pending in High Court. When I go to court, I get just another date and when I go to the leaders, they just write letters and then send me to another person. But no one helps. Under the direction of Supreme Court of India, I was given a job but the salary hardly takes care of any medical needs or any other basic necessity.”
Ms. Anu Mukherji is looking for monetary support for her eye treatment. Anyone interested in contributing can click on the link below for further details: