“I was 17 when I was married into a family that my parents found for me. I came from a small village in U.P- it was a norm to get married early and I didn’t resist.
I dreamed of becoming a police officer. I was a top marksman in NCC and had applied and been selected in the academy. But at my new home, my in-laws refused to let me go. My father’s request made no difference.
I let my dream go and tried to become the best wife and daughter-in-law like my father had asked me to. Until things started changing for the worse. My mother-in-law yelled at me the day after my wedding for not waking up at 5 a.m for house work. The wedding festivities had gone on until 2 a.m. I apologised.
When I was washing clothes, my mother in law asked for her back to be massaged. When I told her I’d finish this work first, my husband took me aside and beat me black and blue for answering back. I apologised again.
One morning, I found my husband sitting over my body with a pair of scissors. He had cut my hair off because his mother had complained I was using too much shampoo. I had finally had enough.
I left for home. My parents were empathetic but they explained that their ‘standing’ in society mattered too. So when my husband and his family came to pick me up and apologise, I went back. That evening, my husband threw acid on my face.
A neighbour informed my parents and by the time they arrived, my in-laws had fled. My father lodged an FIR and they were caught on the run. I thought justice will be mine soon. But that was just the beginning. During the court case, my husband had someone try to run me over when I was walking to court. I escaped death again.
During the case, I went through 13 surgeries and tried to get a job to get my life back. But it was tough-my face was my first impression. I finally found work with Make Love Not Scars in their rehab center. I looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in 10 years. I met women who had suffered like me. Women who had nowhere else to go – who were attacked by their own family members. But together, we learned to face the world…to accept our scars and feel beautiful once more. And now, I’m scared that I’m going to lose my home..my family.”
Without our help, Make Love Not Scars’ rehab center is on the verge of shutting down. It supports, educates and provides for acid attack victims until they are ready to face the world again. They give them hope where it once seemed lost. Let’s get together as a community to raise funds to them. Please consider donating and tagging someone who can donate through the link below.
Story Courtesy: Humans of Bombay