When a lady in her twenties was the victim of an acid assault in 2009, she faced her darkest nightmare. Her life was never the same after the tragedy, yet it did not break her spirit.
Shaheen had aspirations of becoming a doctor or an IAS official. Her conservative household and financial constraints, however, stopped her from following her ambitions.
Before the attack, she was pursuing an MBA and working part-time as a student counsellor.
Shaheen has assisted acid attack victims with legal issues, treatment, and job placement. She is also working to eliminate the sale of acid in shops.
In broad daylight, Shaheen was attacked with acid in a populous place. She simply remembers being terrified, not in agony. Her shattering screams, too. A large crowd gathered around her, unsure what else to do.
If someone had intervened by pouring water on her face at the time, her eye might have been saved. Shaheen lost an eye caused by a lack of public awareness and medical facilities’ unwillingness to accept and treat her on time.
Shaheen was rushed from one hospital to the next after they refused to treat him for his condition.
Despite her fears of what people would say, Shaheen decided to go out one day. That’s when she realised there were a lot of other people aboard the boat with her. She vowed to help them after years of living behind closed doors.
She began receiving calls from acid attack survivors throughout India, asking for her help. As a result, Shaheen decided to pursue social work as a full-time career, and she began assisting individuals who needed her help.
In 2013, she began working with several organisations to help the survivors. She has helped roughly 300 survivors seek restitution, legal counsel, and medical care to date.
After years of working with other NGOs, she decided to start her own. She founded the Brave Souls Foundation to help the survivors receive justice.
Her experience after the incident taught her a lot. She is in charge of the nationwide Campaign to Prevent Acid Attacks. She approaches survivors and ensures that they receive counselling and therapy. She also works hard to make them self-sufficient by ensuring that their FIRs are submitted on time. She was introduced to other people’s sorrow as an activist for acid attack survivors, and as a result, she has become much more compassionate.
- Chaitra Srinivas