November 28th, 2016
[Summary: Know about Mamta and how you can help her and many like her to get a job, by visiting the website here: http://makelovenotscars.org/skills/ ]
Mamta has a warm and welcoming smile, the kind that makes you feel as though you are the most important person in the world when she sends one your way. She is gentle and loving, which makes it so hard to comprehend why anyone would want to harm such an amazing woman.
When Mamta was 21, she was forced into an arranged marriage. Her new husband didn’t wait long to show her his true colours. He demanded that she take classes to become the perfect wife, and constantly abused her. His alcoholism worsened the abuse. He abused her sexually, physically, locked her in a room, beat her with belts, and also strangled her when her family couldn’t afford to meet his demands.
Mamta soon found herself pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. Even the arrival of the new member did not deter her husband. The physical and sexual abuse continued.
On the night of 21 August 2010, as Mamta slept in her parents’ house, her husband walked towards her house with their son’s feeding bottle, filled with acid. At 5.30 am on that fateful morning, Mamta’s family awoke to gut wrenching screams from their eldest daughter. She was screaming in agony as the left side of her body slowly started melting away right under their eyes.
Unable to bear the pain, Mamta begged to be killed. At the hospital, her requests for treatment were disregarded as ‘low priority’, even after she explained that she was two months pregnant.
It was after four days that the police arrested her husband for attempted murder and she was reunited with her son. But this happiness was short lived. Two and a half months later, Mamta faced her abuser in the court, revealing her scars for the first time, showing the skin she has to live in. Despite all her effort and pleas, Mamta’s husband was granted bail, and custody of their son.
A very difficult and long six year journey later, Mamta still can’t find her former husband or child. Police response to this has generally been “when you tell us where he is, we will find him”. After another forced, abusive, failed arranged marriage, her parents stopped supporting her saying it was her fault that she was abused.
Not only has she lost two children, been abused in countless ways, lost the confidence to show her face, but now she has no place in society. Rejected by her family, she lives in isolation. With the weekly struggle for funds to pay her rent, no one could possibly comprehend the physical pain that she went through on August 21 2010, but it is even harder to comprehend the emotional pain she fights every single day.
With time Mamta has moved on and is trying to make her space in the society. She wants to make a living for herself and her family. She has an experience of 3 years as a beautician and a job for her in beauty industry won’t only break the stigmas attached to acid attack survivors but also will pave a way for other survivors.
Make Love Not Scars in association with The Logical Indian, Meer Foundation, Humans Of Bombay and Hyper has launched a campaign #SkillsNotScars to provide jobs to acid attack survivors. You can help Mamta and many like her to get a job, by visiting the website here: http://makelovenotscars.org/skills/
When you hire an acid attack survivor you help them fight back. Until now, acid attack survivors didn’t have a platform to interact with employers. This first-of-its-kind initiative aims to change that. By putting survivors face to face with employers. Feel free to browse around and look at the talents and skills on display. If Someone is the right fit for you or your organisation, please go ahead and contact us. If you can’t hire them directly, that’s fine. Just share this initiative with your friends and family who may be able to help. Your help will go a long way.
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