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How loopholes in government’s policies are failing the acid attack survivors

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Acid attack victim
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By Purnima Pahuja

Geeta was only 22-year-old when a miscreant threw acid on her face after she objected to his sexual advances.

“After such an incident had happened in my life, no one came forward to help me or support me except my mother. I know that nobody has a perfect life, but after whatever happened with me was not the life I ever wanted. I was discarded by the society. And now I want to scream to the world and say that yes, even I can live a normal life like you and even I stand the same in the society as you,” says the acid attack survivor Geeta Lodhi, who is now 37-year-old and works with an organization called Stop Acid Attack which helps acid attack survivors live a dignified life.

Geeta’s story echoes the tale of the many acid attack victims, who face partiality in the society and struggle to pay for their medical support.

Due to the lack of government aid, most acid attack victims find it difficult to pay for the medical assistance which involves plastic surgeries, says Geeta.

Recently, the Central government had announced about the free medical treatment and compensation of Rs 3, 00,000 to the survivors, but this policy has technical flaws.

Though the government has decided to provide the aid, it has not designated any specific body to look after the issue. The survivors do not know where to go and ask for relief.

“In April 2013, the amendments made by the J.S Verma Committee made acid attacks an offense, stating both medical attention and compensation must be given to victims, but it did not specify the type of treatment or the amount of funds to be given,” says Ashish Shukla, an active member of the campaign group Stop Acid Attacks.

According to a Home Ministry report, there were 309 acid attack cases reported in 2014 compared to 66 cases in the previous year.

The rise in number of cases highlights two key points. First there are no strict laws in the country to deal with acid attackers, and second, there are no regulations to deal with the sale of chemicals.

“Acids are being used as weapons, and there is a need of a separate law to deal with the sale and purchase of chemicals which include neat hydrochloric and sulfuric acids also,” said an active member of the campaign group.

 

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Delhi Government Gives Nod To a Project to Create Reservoirs in Yamuna Flood Plain

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday approved the inter-departmental committee report

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The pilot for the project, which has the potential for ending Delhi's water shortage, particularly during summer months, is aimed to start in a month's time. Pixabay

To achieve self-sufficiency of water, the Delhi government on Wednesday gave its nod to a project to create reservoirs in the Yamuna flood plain by store overflowing water from the river during the monsoon season, an official statement said.

The pilot for the project, which has the potential for ending Delhi’s water shortage, particularly during summer months, is aimed to start in a month’s time, the statement said.

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday approved the inter-departmental committee report on the project.

The report recommended that an amount of Rs 77,000 per acre should be paid to the farmers for leasing their land for the pilot project.

Delhi, Government, Project
To achieve self-sufficiency of water, the Delhi government on Wednesday gave its nod to a project to create reservoirs in the Yamuna flood plain by store overflowing water from the river. Pixabay

“The farmers will get the sum according to the number of acres of land they give the government on lease for the pilot project,” the government said.

The government claims that the pilot project will prove to be a game-changer not only for Delhi, but for the whole country which is facing huge water crisis in different parts.

It also said the project is first of its kind in the country.

“The important project aims at conserving water in the Yamuna floodplains and creating a mega reservoir between Palla and Wazirabad to deal with the water shortage in Delhi, particularly during summer months,” the government said.

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The project envisages creation of small ponds in the floodplains which will catch overflows from the Yamuna during the monsoon.

“Most of the approvals have been received for the pilot project, barring two from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) committees, which are expected very soon,” it said.

Kejriwal also thanked Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for the quick approvals by the Centre for the project and cooperation Delhi received from Centre for the pilot project. (IANS)