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I am fundraising to help Build Rehabilitation Centre For Acid Attack Survivors

Make Love Not Scars started off just as an idea for a documentary a year ago. The concept was simple – we wanted to make a documentary that showcased the lives of acid attack survivors in India. While producing this documentary we discovered that there are so many acid attack survivors in India who had fallen through the cracks and were not able to seek the help that they deserved as victims of violence.

It was then that we formed a team of young individuals who were eager to seek justice for these survivors and before we knew it, we were engaged in coming up with interventions and plans for rehabilitation. The fact that we helped so many women on the pretext of just making a film was motivation enough to set up an organization. Since existing (or rather, non-existent) safety nets were not in place to help the survivors, we decided to become a net for them. Then we Make Love Not Scars as an NGO for acid attack survivors and burnt pateints

MLNS was born with the aim to be a source of support for victims of acid attacks, regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or religion.

MLNS operates in three core areas:
a) Identify cases of acid attack and other forms of gender-based violence and help in providing emergency medical and legal assistance required.
b) Support the rehabilitation of survivors of acid attacks and other forms of gender-violence (including burning and rape) through need-based training and assistance for stable employment.
c) Actively work with the government and non-government organizations, the media and other social institutions to campaign against acid attacks and other forms of gender-based violence and help in brining a “new normal” in society, where such acts are seen as archaic and condemnable.


Currently, MLNS operates on these three strategies without a pyshical space or office where team members can come together. Team meetings, and discussions, organizational planning and case management of our increasing number of survivors are all done with other modes of communication such as mobile and social media. The petition to End Acid Sale featuring our survivor Reshma has received over 2 lakh signatures at the time of writing, and her makeup tutorials have a combined viewership of 1.3 million people.

The organization hopes to have a physical space and a rehabilitation centre  where we can manage our day-to-day operations more seamlessly and with more efficiency. This space can also act as a meeting point for survivors who prefer to approach us and meet us face-to-face in their attempts to seek support or a listening ear from one of our team members. This is crucial for the psychological well-being of the survivors.

The rehabilitation of acid attack survivors is a long process and they need continued medical treatment and care for several years. The physical trauma is something everyone can see and that can be treated but the psychological trauma they go through is something unbearable. The state of mind of many survivors many times gets imbalanced, especially in India where there is almost negligible support for depressed / mentally unsound patients. Rehabilitation also includes providing legal support.

Acid attack survivors need immediate medical treatment because they are at immediate danger of losing their eye-vision. After that numerous surgeries are done. At the same time, we try to provide psychological help. The ultimate aim of our organization is to empower them and make them stand on their feet.

The money raised will be used for the medical treatment of patients (on emergency basis), for their legal fee, for catering to their educational needs, but most importantly for setting up a rehabilitation centre which will act as a point of contact for different stakeholders like acid attack survivors, legal experts, volunteers, psychological counselors, etc.

The rehabilitaiton centre will be utlised to impart skills to acid attack survivors, give job opportunities to them and to help reintroduce the survivors into society.

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5th December 2017
Dear supporters,

We are using a part of the funds towards expenses related to an acid attack survivor Renu's upcoming treatment. As she is blind, her family wants to consult a few doctors around India which include Chennai and Dehradun. She is also facing issues with her menstrual cycle that is causing her discomfort. The funds will also be utilised for her medication.

As we do not require the funds for our center at the moment, we are choosing to allocate them to a survivor who is in need of treatment for a few things. Our centre works to rehabilitate the survivors and we would like to allocate the funds for Renu. The funds will really help her in this time of need. In due time as the funds are utilized, we will provide receipts for the same as we receive them from the survivor. You can read more about her story below

Born on the 21st of May 1986, Renu belongs to a lower middle-class family from the outskirts of Delhi. Losing her mother at the age of 13, led Renu to drop out of school and become in charge of the household work, as well as look after younger brother and sister. Their source of income came solely from the minimum wage the father earned and from the tenant living in their house.

The tenant living in their house became the family’s worst nightmare in a matter of seconds. After a few months of not receiving the rent, Renu’s father gave him an ultimatum, which the occupant portrayed to accept. On the 15th of February 2006,  the frustration of not receiving the payment led to the father asking the tenant to vacate his room, to which he agreed with no hesitation leaving the family to believe the matter had been resolved.
While Renu was washing the Bulls, the ex-tenant stood silently behind her with a mug in his hand to which she thought he wanted water as the motor was running. After asking him repeatedly if he wanted water, she received no response, finally, when she turned around towards him he threw acid on her.

This act of violence led the 20-year-old to be blinded in both eyes, deaf from one ear and left most of her body disfigured.


Ria,
Make Love Not Scars

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