I buckled up against the wall as an excruciating pain shot up my legs. Blood trickled down my chin as my lower lip was cut open. I tried standing up but my body refused to budge an inch. I felt scared and numb as a blurry shadow slowly aimed towards me with something; a bottle? I gasped as my eyes caught the menacing toxic symbol on the bottle’s label; an acid flask. A chill ran down my spines. I pleaded for mercy and cried at my own helplessness. My only fault: To bore him a daughter instead of a son.
I found myself looking at my very own reflection in the hospital bed. I thought I was wearing a mask to scare someone badly on Halloween but the mask won’t come out. The horrible visage was now part of my body. The disfigured nose, the burnt lips and skin was not a temporary get-up but a permanent mark not only on my body but on my life too. I didn’t know whether to heave a sigh of gratitude to be alive or to cry over the permanent scars that changed my life forever!
The narrative above is a living nightmare of hundreds and thousands of women in Pakistan. Women’s Day is celebrated all across the world to appreciate the daring and inspiring women who actually do something to be a shield for the other women of the society. And on this day, Women In Engineering would like to appreciate the sincere efforts of Musarat Misbah who has given a new life to the surviving victims of acid attack. Since the past decade, this great lady has been working to provide medical treatment to the acid attack victims and helps them in becoming a beautician so that they may work for a better livelihood instead of being mocked by the society. Several acid attack survivors found an abode in Musarat’s salon and are hired to provide beauty services.
Although this noble cause proved to be a solace for many Pakistani women but there are several such survivors who remain silent and prefer isolation rather than seeking assistance because of the constant threat of being attacked again. The efforts made by the government for such women are almost negligible and that is another reason why this hideous crime is still so widespread in the country. The worst scenario is that acid attack is not a stigma of the lower class only. Every woman, whether rich or poor, educated or illiterate is subject to this threat. The bottom line is it’s the women who have been associated as the victim of this crime in most of the cases.
Protecting and respecting every other woman is not only every man’s duty but also one of the basic right of a woman towards her fellow gender. Every lady should try utmost to help such survivors emotionally, financially and socially so that instead of being called a ‘Strong woman’, these acid attack victims become strong enough to appreciate their reflection as part of their brave and inspiring existence.
To all the women who face similar hardships: HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY 🙂
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Pursuing a degree in electronic engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology. An ardent writer, reader and a keen observer. Dan Brown and Khalid Hosseini never fail to inspire her. Apart from playing with circuits, she regularly blogs at