(Agra) “I was attacked in 2002, at the age of 15 years by my sister’s brother-in-law. He had been harassing me for a long time. He said that he wanted to marry me. But when my family and I refused his proposal, he poured acid on my face. I was taken to a local hospital but I couldn’t stay there for long because everyone was scared that he might attack me again. 

The police came to the hospital and took statements from my mother, sister and me. But we never checked if an FIR was filed. Later, when I went to the police station to give my pictures  and check the progress on the case, the police officials were rude and said that they were not “hanuman” to be able to catch the culprit immediately. The culprit lived close to me and roamed around freely. My sister was under a lot of pressure from her in-laws to withdraw the case. They finally managed to get the complaint withdrawn. The police officials did not speak to me or anyone else in my family before closing the case.

I did not get any monetary help from the government because no FIR was registered. But my family, especially my brother supported me through the entire ordeal. My brother sent me to a private hospital at his own expense. Apart from my face, one side of my chest was also burnt in the attack. At the government hospital, doctors would treat my wounds without any kindness. I used to scream in pain but it did not make any difference to them. I couldn’t see the difference between my attacker and the doctors. 

Now, I am married with a four-year old son. My husband does not work and does not support me in any way. I feel I got married to such a person because of my disfigured appearance. I work hard to sustain my child and myself. I like working here; I serve food at Sheroes.”

(Stories of survivors of acid attack: These stories are of women working at Sheroes Hangout, Agra. Sheroes Hangout is a cafe that employs survivors of acid attack and uses the profit to further rehabilitate and educate the survivors. To know more click here: