Acid attacks are a horrendous crime with lifetime consequences for the survivors. Yet acid is freely available at your local store, it is the cheapest way to clean toilets.
Despite acid attack survivors facing severe pain and trauma caused by peeled skin, loss of eyesight and hearing, exposed bone and cartilage, fatal infections, loss of sensation, amputations, skin replacements, and having to live with a disfigured face all their lives, nothing much has been implemented to prevent further attacks in the country.
The stats are disturbing. India witnesses as many as 1000 cases of acid attacks every year, states the BBC. The number of acid attacks increased between 2012 to 2014 by an alarming 250%. Acid attacks remain one of the most horrifying forms of gender based violence with almost 90% of victims being women.
Moving for a complete ban on toilet-cleaning acid and stronger implementation of Poisons Act and Poisons Rules, is #EndAcidSale – a petition filed by ‘Make Love Not Scars’, an NGO that helps survivors.
Creative agency Ogilvy & Mather has created a series of films to throw light on the issue. An acid attack survivor named Reshma Bano Quereshi is seen giving beauty tips on applying eye liner, lipstick and getting rid of dark spots. Towards the end of her tips, she makes a satirical point about cosmetics being available for INR 100, when acid is available at just INR 30.
The petition has found over 225K signatures while the videos have garnered varying view counts. ‘How to get perfect red lips’ has received over 1.1 million views, ‘How to apply eyeliner’ 200K views while ‘How to get rid of dark spots naturally’ is at 47K.
The campaign does make a powerful point, one that demands an immediate call-for-action against such a grave crime. Who better than an acid attack victim herself to build awareness on the unregulated sale of acid. For a petition campaign, Reshma’s beauty tips is an excellent plug by the agency. I’m hoping it will bring in the desired change the NGO has been working on - End Acid Sale.
Do sign the petition if you haven’t already and keep updated on the buzz: #EndAcidSale