The Manohar Lal Khattar led Bharatiya Janata Party cabinet in Haryana has passed a commendable resolution on Tuesday regarding help provided by the government to acid attack victims. CM Khattar led cabinet approved a scheme that facilitates women victims of acid attacks to get a continuous source of income throughout their life. The financial assistance provided to the survivors of acid attack victims will be given on the percentage of their disability according to the official spokesperson of the Haryana government. This is a commendable step in providing help to one of the most brutal kinds of violence which is committed against women in the Indian subcontinent. Acid attacks are not just restricted to India but happen even in neighbouring Pakistan where disgruntled eve teasers and criminal minded youth pour acid on women to leave them with a permanent scar for the rest of their lives. The survivor of acid attacks feels not just terrible pain and disfigurement but also leaves them with a stigma which they have to live with for the rest of their lives.
North Indian states lead in the number of acid attacks on women, while it is usually the women who have to suffer but in some cases there are role reversals too where the family of the women or the women themselves take part in this vengeful crime. While CM Khattar and the Haryana cabinet deserves to be praised for providing one of its kind help to the victims of the dreadful and cowardly acid attacks but they also need to make this help gender neutral in the coming days. According to the government spokespersons from Haryana who spoke about the help which will be provided under the new scheme, a victim with 40-50% disability will get financial help at the rate of 2.5 times of the Divyang pension. For those who suffer from 51-60% disability the aid provided would be at 3.5 times the rate of handicapped pension and for victims with more than 61% disability the assistance provided by the Haryana government will be 4.5 times of the handicapped pension. The Divyang pension being provided as of today by the Haryana government is Rs 1,800 per month which is slated to increase to Rs 2,000 by the start of November month.
This means that any woman victim will be entitled to get a monthly aid ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 9,000 from the CM Khattar government in the state depending on her percentage of disability. Any woman or girl who suffered an acid attack on or after May 2, 2011 will be automatically considered eligible for the scheme by providing documents which can show the percentage of her disability. CM Khattar led government in Haryana has approved this scheme to restore some dignity of the victims of the acid attacks, however much more needs to be done across the country to make the victims life easier. The mindset of the society is such that it sees and treats the victims as some type of criminal while the perpetrators of the crime are let loose after serving some minor jail term.The laws need to be made more stringent to punish the attackers harshly. Educating people about the problems faced by the victims of acid attacks and making the victims feel more welcome in the society will further help them in getting their life back to normal but this step is as good as any for a first initiative. CM Khattar and the BJP government needs to be applauded for passing this needed resolution.