The Supreme Court has issued orders directing the state and union territories to make provisions for bring the victims of acid attack under the ambit of Disability Act. The direction is in response to the writ petition filed by a Bihar based NGO, Parivartan Kendra. The NGO has complained of non-compliance of Bihar government to the earlier verdict of SC to provide adequate financial aid for the victims. A bunch headed by Justices M.Y. Iqbal and C. Nagappan has has also asked the state government to bear the cost of her reconstruction surgery.
It was in April 2015 that the Supreme Court has issued rules regarding the extension of free treatments, medicines and surgeries, for those who have been victims of acid attacks. This should be implemented without any distinction of public or private hospitals. Prior to that SC has given an interval of three months for all the states to restrict the sale of acid, and to give the victims three lakh rupees as compensation, one third of which should be paid within 15 days of the attack.
Despite the directives, its disheartening to see that he ground situation offer a highly dismal picture. Activists fighting for victims’ justice says that acid is still easily available at the stores and anyone can access it without much hassle.
Many a private hospitals too refuse to provide free plastic surgery and other treatments. Even compensation amounts are not given properly, with authorities observing an apathetic attitude towards the victims. There are also complaints against the investigative officers being insensitive and corrupt, especially in the northern states.
However there are stats like Haryana which offers complete medical treatment free of cost for the attack victims, as a compulsory policy of the state. Over the years, there has been a rising awareness among the public, thanks to the greater efforts taken by various NGOs and victim groups. Now with their inclusion under the Disability Act, the victims can avail lots of benefits, including 3% reservation in government jobs.