Lucknow May 2019
It was like rebirthing for me. Mornings were busy with session. But evenings travel bloggers The Misfit Wanderers curated things for me to see. I was really amazed by the trouble the kids had taken they went through my blog and figured out things that interested me and put the walks together. Of course architecture and historic sites were out of question as the time we got to move was only after 5pm.
One place they said I had to visit was the Sheroes cafe. It was amazing. This movement began in Agra as rehabilitation for acid attack victims. The youngest being around 4-5yrs she had drunk the acid my mistake.
When Akhilesh Yadav’s wife saw this in Agra she supported these women to start off at Lucknow. The Lucknow centre as about 10 women. what came through during the conversation is the sense of dignity in the women. from being oppressed and abused, they had come out. Staying in a house together they earned their living and educated their kids.
Their lease is now running out and current does not show any indication of supporting them.
The main grouse these women have, is the lack of more stringent laws. For Rs.10/- a bottle of acid can be bought in any corner store of UP. These women have been fighting to have a law that requires a person to sign a roaster, and go through the norms that one has to go through when they buy arsenic or other lethal chemicals. An acid attack is traumatic and life crippling event for the victim, but the predator gets away with a minor sentence many a times none at all.
Quite a few times since the acid attack happens in a domestic frame work the police tend to treat it like a mundane event. The clip I am sharing is incomplete but here is a conversation I had with one of the victims of acid attack who is now part of the Sheroes movement.
As I talk to these women, it dawns to me these scars are the proof that these women have survived their deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. It seem to leave them stronger, more resilient and in a sad way the past actually made them better equipped to face the present.