Meet The Messiah For Acid Attack Victims Who Gives Them Free Plastic Surgeries
India is witness to a large number of acid attacks every year where victims are left to pick up the pieces. While some become stronger and embrace their inner beauty, other suffer from trauma and are at the mercy of a patriarchal society. A Cornell Law School Report on combating acid violence published in January 2011 concluded that, “Acid attacks are social phenomena deeply embedded in a gender order that has historically privileged patriarchal control over women and justified the use of violence.” Charles Viva, a UK-based plastic surgeon, has spent years stitching together the disfigured and burnt bodies of acid attack victims across the globe, and very often for free. The now retired doctor of Sri Lankan origin was in New Delhi recently with a volunteer team of surgeons and clinicians from the UK chapter of the global NGO Interplast to undertake free reconstructive surgeries on victims of burns and acid attacks. The surgeries took place at the W Pratiksha Hospital in Gurgaon, where the team from London performed over 30 surgeries on burn, acid and cleft-lip victims from the economically weaker section. The project titled ‘Project Revive’ received support from the Acid Survivor Foundation of India (ASFI) and the NGO Ritinjali. Among those who were operated upon was 30-year-old Anupama from Bihar and a 7-year-old boy who slipped and fell on acid while playing in his home. In April last year, Madhya Pradesh issued a circular to private hospitals to provide treatment to acid attack and rape victims.