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Indian Minister Pushes for Universal and Free Treatment for Victims of Acid Attacks

Rodrigo Mejia

India's Minister of Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath, recently sent out a letter to the Union Health Ministry asking them to completely cover the cost of treating victims of acid attacks--often young or poor women who cannot afford surgeries to mend badly damaged tissue. The Union Health Ministry asserts that treatment is free at government medical centers, but Tirath is pushing for free coverage to extend to private centers, who often have better facilities and access to technology.

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  • Rodrigo Mejia

    Thank you for reading. The Indian government has responded by limiting sales of over-the-counter acids commonly found in cleaning supplies to those 18 or older in order to curb acid attacks, which are often perpetrated by young men.

    For those interested in some of the stories recorded by hindustantimes, here's an excerpt from a victim's account:

    "A few minutes short of midnight, four youth from my village climbed onto the roof of our single-storeyed Indira Awas Yojana house at Chitnawan, as I slept there with my younger sister, Sonam.

    Two of them held my hands and the other two intruders poured almost a litre of acid on my face. As I writhed in agony, they laughed at me. One of them said: 'Now you see we do whatever we say.' "

    Part of Minister Tirath's push also includes educating young men so that penalties aren't the only solution in halting such attacks.

    I'm hoping the best, as well.

  • John Wynn

    Thank you for sharing this story...this is truly heart-breaking...what a tragic situation for these young women. They deserve all the support and the best treatment that they can get. I wish Krishna Tirath success in this endeavor.

    I encourage all to read the personal stories that are accessible via the link.