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News18 » India
2-min read

Hope ‘Chhapak’ Brings Along Change in Mentality on Acid Attacks, Says Survivor Ritu Saini

The young survivor was all praises for Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who is playing the role of an acid attack victim in her upcoming movie ‘Chhapak’ which will hit the screens on January 10.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:December 15, 2019, 4:58 PM IST
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Hope ‘Chhapak’ Brings Along Change in Mentality on Acid Attacks, Says Survivor Ritu Saini
Acid attack survivor Ritu Saini.

Bhopal: A disfigured face, a scarred soul and a great deal of pain: all this failed to deter this 24-year-old former state Volleyball player to fight for people who have met the same unfortunate fate as her own.

Ritu Saini, 17, was at the receiving end of an acid attack, organised by her own extended family, on May 26, 2012. She now works for the Chhanv foundation, an organisation which works to extend help to acid attack victims.

Saini, who is also associated with ‘Sheroes Café’, an outlet run by acid attack survivors, was in Bhopal on Saturday for an event organised for women achievers.

The young survivor was all praises for Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who is playing the role of an acid attack victim in her upcoming movie ‘Chhapak’ which will hit the screens on January 10.

“I think Deepika was full of compassion and felt our pain and agony,” said Saini, who alongside many others was consulted by Gulzar for the making of the movie, trailer for which was released on December 10.

While watching the trailer, Deepika Padukone was left in tears, claimed Ritu who is hopeful that the movie will help to create awareness regarding acid attacks and change people’s mentality.

The young girl also praised Meghna Gulzar, the director of the movie, for investing her time in writing the story and putting in much effort and research into this project.

Narrating her own excruciating fate, Saini remembered how she had stepped out of home for her daily volleyball practice when two motorcycle borne men approached her and before she could react, the pillion rider threw acid on her.

“Later, it emerged that my cousin who had a crush on me had hired the attackers, paying Rs 1.25 lakh to them,” said Saini, adding that when she regained consciousness days later in the hospital, faces of her family said it all.

Her cousin was sentenced to life imprisonment and two others for ten years in in prison but later, one of the guilty was released just after five years.

“I had received 45% burns on my body and 90% on my face, besides losing my right eye. The acid affected the sight in my left eye as well,” said said.

She tried to play Volleyball again after the attack but her depleted vision forced her to hang her sporting boots early.

The survivor-turned-activist rues the fact that even after so much has been written in the media against acid attacks, these inhumane attacks on women continue unabated and no data is available on the exact number of such attacks.

However, she seemed satisfied with the fact that women are taking rapid strides in every field in her home state of Haryana, where once girls were not even allowed to born.

“Many girls from my childhood weren’t allowed to study but the present age girls are sent to study and choose a career of their own,” Saini added.

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| Edited by: Karan Anand
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