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21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Acid Attack Survivors


It has been over a year since the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, RPWD 2016, came into effect. The Act has been called a game changer for people with disabilities in India. Among the important aspects is that the number of disabilities has been increased from seven to 21.

However, there is little awareness about these changes. So, starting today, we have a weekly series where we tell readers what the 21 disabilities are.

This week we talk about Acid Attack Survivors.

For the first time, acid attack survivors or acid attack victims have been recognized in the disabled category.An acid attack victim refers to a person who has suffered a violent assault as a result of acid or a similar corrosive substance being thrown at them.

In most cases, acids or corrosive chemicals are thrown at the face resulting in the skin burning, damage to skin tissue, and even dissolving of bones in some severe attacks.

Most victims are women, who are punished for not responding to romantic advances from men. In some cases, former husbands or boyfriends have used it to disfigure, maim or kill women as revenge. Studies show that the motive is mostly not to kill, but humiliate the women by altering their appearance.

In India, laws exist to prevent the sale and easy availability of harmful chemicals, yet acid attacks are common. The life of a survivor is greatly affected greatly after such attacks. By including acid attack victims in RPWD 2016, the government has recognized them as deserving of help and aid.

Some of the problems faced by acid attack survivors are :

• Permanent scarring of the face and body

• Deafness

• Loss of vision

• Loss of ability to communicate and eat

• Respiratory problems

• Social difficulties

• Psychological difficulties

• Economic difficulties

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