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

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Acid attack victim
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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Our Government is Working To Eliminate Tuberculosis From The Country by 2025: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan

He said to achieve the goal, the government's programme 'Mission Indradhanush' is already operational

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Harsh Vardhan
Referring to the Union Government's Ayushman Bharat scheme, Dr. Harsh Vardhan called it an "ambitious programme", under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022. Wikimedia Commons

The central government is working to eradicate tuberculosis from India by 2015 besides taking active measures to eliminate diseases like kala-azar and measles from the country, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

“By 2025, we wish to eliminate tuberculosis from India. We have taken up an amibitious universal immunisation programme delivered to 100 per cent people all over the country,” the minister told mediapersons on the sidelines of the Rotary India Centennial Summit here.

He said to achieve the goal, the government’s programme ‘Mission Indradhanush’ is already operational.

“We are also working for the elimination of many other diseases in the country like Kala-azar and measles,” the minister said.

Tuberculosis
Here are Symptoms associated with Tuberculosis. Wikimedia Commons

Refering to the Union government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme, he called it an “ambitious programme”, under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022.

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“So far, 30,000 are being set up and by March-end we will have around 40,000 centres”, he said. (IANS)