“Beauty is not everything. So what if her face is burned? I like her thinking, and most importantly she has a beautiful heart. Looks are temporary; there is nothing in a face. Even my face can go through the same. So, it is not necessary to have flawless skin, what matters is a beautiful heart.” says Mohammed Shamshaad who married Shabina, an acid attack survivor.
Shabina who hails from Chamanganj Kanpur was a happy young girl. But, her life turned upside down twelve years ago. She helped her father put labels on vests in his workshop. She was beautiful, and her marriage was arranged with a man named Waseem.
Their wedding date was set close to Eid celebrations. But Waseem did not want to wait that long. He asked Shabina to elope with him, but Shabina didn’t want to go against her parents and asked him to wait.
Waseem was not able to take the denial and threw acid on her when she was asleep in her house. Her parents took her to the hospital even when her neighbours asked them to not to go as it would create problems with police.
When Shabina was going through the pain of the attack, Sakhi Kendra NGO from Kanpur came to her as a silver lining. “The police were reluctant to lodge a complaint, and after three days of intense protest by Sakhi Kendra, FIR was registered, and the accused was arrested within 15 days,” says Pushpa Tiwari, a counsellor at Sakhi Kendra.
For Shabina’s operation, her father sold everything he owned. Neelam Chaturvedi, the founder of Sakhi Kendra, arranged more funds. After eight surgeries, Shabina’s eyes, eyebrows, lips were reconstructed again.
But even after the surgery, she was afraid for the safety of her family. The family of the accused regularly threatened them. Then, she and her father decided to leave Chamanganj and shift to Dhaknapur.
There she met Shamshad who was married and had two children. Shabina would take care of the kids as Shamshad’s wife eloped with her lover. Seeing Shabina’s great relationship with his children and her beautiful heart, Shamshad proposed marriage to her.
Shabina shared this news with Neelam Chaturvedi, founder of Sakhi Kendra. She spoke to Shamshad and asked if he was marrying out of pity for Shabina. He assured her that it was for her beautiful spirit and giving heart.
While speaking to The Logical Indian, Neelam said that she and her team contributed money, blankets, bed sheets, jewellery and organised her wedding. Shabina is now happily married to Shamshad.
The Logical Indian congratulates Shabina and Shamshad as they embark on their new journey. We also appreciate Sakhi Kendra for their support to the victims and their families.