Number of acid attacks less in TN; experts want more awareness

Assistant Director of Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation (ASWWF), Chennai chapter, Avijit Kumar said, “We’re yet to find a reason why Tamil Nadu’s western belt reports higher cases, but rapid industrialisation and easy access to acid and chemicals in the region could be a reason.”
Illustrative image
Illustrative imageSaai

CHENNAI: With better medical assistance and policing, Tamil Nadu has managed to keep acid attack cases to a minimum each year. But, experts urge the government to ensure strict policy enforcement and awareness among vulnerable groups in the State to reduce cases further.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), from 2016 to 2020, Tamil Nadu recorded 24 acid attack cases. Through these years, number of reported cases gradually increased, taking fourth position among 5 southern states.

Experts and activists claim that despite the State’s relatively low number in acid attack cases, western districts have been reporting a lot more cases.

Assistant Director of Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation (ASWWF), Chennai chapter, Avijit Kumar said, “We’re yet to find a reason why Tamil Nadu’s western belt reports higher cases, but rapid industrialisation and easy access to acid and chemicals in the region could be a reason.”

Data on acid attack cases according to NCRB reports.
Data on acid attack cases according to NCRB reports.

Avijit adds that awareness among vulnerable groups and strict enforcement of policies should be able to reduce cases across India.

“Women and children, especially studying in classes 9 to 12, are the most vulnerable to acid attacks across India. They should be encouraged to report about the accused when the latter exhibits dangerous and/or disturbing behaviour. To do so, we should motivate and ensure safe space for them,” said Avijit.

Despite Tamil Nadu’s excellent medical assistance for acid burns and the arrest of the accused in all acid attack cases, better laws must be implemented to get more convictions.

First aid to victims: Experts urge helpers and the public to pour water on the affected areas of the victim instead of adopting other means. “As the skin continues to burn inside, pouring water will help in rehabilitation further,”.
Avijit

“The conviction rate in India is only 40%. Shockingly, in the same period (2016-2020), West Bengal reported highest cases in the country with 294 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh with 243 cases,” added Avijit.

S Rani, an acid attack survivor in Chrompet, urged for better laws and government assistance to victims, and stated: “I became a victim in February 2000 at the hands of my husband. For the last 2 decades, I’ve been undergoing surgeries and struggling to pay for them. Survivors need more monetary support from the government and the sale of these acids should be regulated better.”

Rani’s left ear was surgically removed while her head, left shoulder and arms were severely burned.

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