Bhubaneswar, September 7 (LocalWire): Rights activists in the state have sought social security cover for acid attack survivors for their reintegration into the social mainstream.
According to available data, Odisha has witnessed over 70 cases of acid attacks on women in the last eight years, forcing the survivors to live a life of stigma and mental agony caused by the brutality inflicted upon them, mostly by jilted lovers.
The Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation (ASWWF), a civil society group espousing the cause of the acid-attack victims, has identified 500 such survivors in the country.
As per latest National Crime Record Bureau data, the northern region has the highest incidence of acid violence accounting for nearly 44% of the attacks, followed by the eastern region with 27% such crimes, the western region with 16% and the southern region with 13% acid attacks.
“Acid violence is one of the most heinous crimes against humanity.
Besides the various measures adopted for supporting the cause of survivors, the government needs to set up a psycho-social rehabilitation center that will provide holistic care to survivors,” representative of ASWWF Odisha chapter TN Panda said.
Panda further added that there was a need for advocacy to support acid-attack victims, including adequate compensation, free or subsidised medical treatment, and rehabilitation for all who have suffered the barbaric act, and exemplary punishment for the culprits.
The Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SSEPD) had committed to cover the acid attack survivors under various social security schemes, but nothing has come up yet.
The acid attack victims need to be provided with care and support followed by community-based programmes on prevention in collaboration with civil society groups and supporting service government organisations to spread awareness, Namrata Chadha, a social activist, said.