After losing my mother in 2009, I was living with my elder sister and her husband. He wanted to get me married so that he could get hold of the only house my mother left her after she passed away. As my brother-in-law and my sister Najma were constantly torturing and forcing me to marry, I filed a police complaint but police asked me to resolve the matter at the family court. After some time, emotional blackmail started and I fell for it.
My sister told me that Jiju wasn't keeping well and they urgently needed money. When I went to their house the situation was completely different. When I questioned them, I was kicked by my sister and my brother-in-law threw acid on me and ruined my life forever. When acid splashed on my face first, it felt like something extremely cold had hit on my face and after a while, my skin was burning. My clothes were sticking to my skin. I started screaming.
Forty-six per cent of my body was burnt. I got admitted to a government hospital. I was not provided with the treatment for free. Doctors would come at odd hours to do the dressing. They did my surgeries in the dressing room. The treatment I was given was inhuman. I was scared to hear the footsteps of the doctors. I decided that I don't want to die in this hospital as each day was more painful than the previous one. The ward boy warned me that my body would rot if I did not get the appropriate treatment. Still, I left.
I had no money for treatment, my entire body was swollen with pus, my neighbours did not allow me to open the door of my house as they were scared of my face and said that my body stinks. I was fighting for my life on one hand and for justice on the other.
I was a make-up artist before this incident and customers loved my work. I wanted to get back to work to feed my family & get myself treated. I contacted my supervisor, but she refused to take me back as she believed, now I can't make people look beautiful with this face. I was shattered. I sold my house & jewellery to fund my treatment. After struggling for years, in November 2016, I started my NGO Acid Survivors Saahas Foundation (ASSF) and since then, I have been helping 42 acid survivors rebuild their lives. I'm still recovering from the wounds. They burnt my face but not my will.
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