Acid attack is undoubtedly one of the most heinous crimes in the Indian society. Apparently, a lot of voices have been raised by the victims, activists, policy makers, and politicians to regulate the sale of acid. It is unfortunate to point out that the acid attacks on innocent people are still on the rise in India. While we know that women have been the prominent target of the crimes related to acid attacks, there has been a significant share of male acid attacks survivors in the Indian history.
Unfortunately, around 30-40 percent acid attack victims are male, whose cases may go unreported. Significantly, in the case of women acid attack victims, we have seen the reasons varying from rejection in love to domestic violence in the house, the men become the victim of acid attacks for unexpected reasons including land dispute, professional jealousy, business rivalry, and personal feuds. These stories of male acid attack survivors in India will send chills down your spine.
Have a read at some of the lesser-known, soul-stirring stories of innocent male acid attack survivors who fought the battle of life to shine in the society:
1. Firoz Khan
A fight with neighbors scarred Firoz Khan, who was 27-year-old (now 43) for life unexpectedly. While addressing the media, Firoz Khan told his troublesome story as he said that he was in his home on a cold January winter evening in 2002 when he heard an intense fight between his younger brother and the neighbors.
“I ran outside as it did not sound like just another neighborhood scuffle. I saw my brother arguing with our neighbor and naturally came to his rescue. I asked him to go inside and within a second, the neighbor fetched a bucket full of acid and with a mug, started to throw it on us.”
However, he did his best save to himself from the injuries by rushing towards the community hand pump, but the damage was already done. As he sat under the running water, his skin still melted and peeled off within seconds.
2. Aditya Raj
Being a two and a half-year-old boy, Aditya Raj is considered the youngest male acid-attack survivor in India. After being kidnapped by his mother’s lover right from outside the house, the police found him with burnt skin the next morning near a local drain. While he was in a conscious state, he was still traumatized by the incident that changed his life forever. About his condition, his mother, Soni said:
“If he sees a stranger now, his first instinct is to run inside the house or simply break down. He grows inconsolable. His left eye doesn’t shut anymore. He sleeps with his left eye open.”
3. Upendra Kumar
A 14-year-old boy, Upendra Kumar became the victim of a neighborhood rivalry in which a family opposed their child’s friendship with him. Shockingly, one day, as Upendra was coming home after playing with the kids, two men poured acid in his eyes that left him blind. Upendra’s father said:
“My son’s education has come to a halt for two years now. I am struggling every day after work to teach him braille so that he can pick up studies but there is no help extended from the government so far for his education.”
4. Chandrahas Mishra
In 2011, Meerut’s resident, Chandrahas Mishra was attacked by his landlord’s son because he stopped him from molesting a girl day before. His intervention led to heated argument between the two and the boy threatened Mishra that he will kill him. 34-year-old small-time businessman, Mishra was attacked by the boy because he was doing something right.
“I went to his father and narrated the incident to him. The next day, the son threw a bucket full of acid at me.”
5. Surya Shankar Barik
A resident of Mahisamari village in West Bengal, 36-year-old Surya Shankar Barik is also in the list of male acid attack survivors in India. He was attacked by acid by a fellow villager over a petty monetary dispute. He said:
“We got into a fight following which he threw acid on my face and head. I lost my right eye. My face and head are disfigured.”
Whatever the reason can be, the result of this heinous crime is nothing but social and psychological trauma that can even take a lifetime to recover from. As these male acid attack survivors face innumerable challenges, all we can do is help the fight against this dangerous crime in the world.