Giving Acid Attack Survivors A New Hope | Milaap
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Giving Acid Attack Survivors A New Hope

 

Julie is a 7 years old little girl child living in Budwa village in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.). After an acid attack by her second father she has been striving to survive on her own. Our team reached out to her village and helped her receive adequate treatments. We also helped her after the recovery. She has started to go to school. She has started making new friends and plays among other children in the village.

These women, and sadly many more, have experienced pain and victimization like no human being ever should. But thanks to their resolve and their will to live full lives, they’re inspiring people across the globe.


Sheroes Hangout

Over the 3 years of its time Sheroes Hangout in Agra has catered thousands of guests from several parts of the nation and overseas. The number of beneficiaries at the Agra café has grown from 5 to 10 acid attack survivors. The impact of the café can be manifested in the lives of 5 survivors – Rupa, Ritu, Dolly, Neetu and Geeta with whom we started the project. The other survivors who joined later on also feel inspired and motivated to join the group of the existing ones. We are making progress as a team together. As the girls recover from their major injuries, we help them in their employment. The girls and women often face difficulties in achieving employment after the attack.



The acid attack survivors of Sheroes Hangout cafe in Agra need your help. The road widening process in the city is forced 10 women of cafe to find another option to run their families.

Since moving from Stop Acid Attacks online campaign in 2013 to Sheroes Hangout cafes in 2014, we have become more involved and we short of seen the world of activism a bit more but with a different approach. We wanted to discuss the issue with everyone because it’s something we all have been thinking about a lot, thinking about whether activism is important, whether it’s something that’s really necessary, there was a need of discussion on this kind of violence. With more such cafes, we want to help as many acid attack survivors as we can. Although their lives have been marked with pain and hardship, these women are banding together to support fellow victims, and to make these attacks a thing of the past. We feel everyone has a potential to succeed. it's just how you help them that matters.

The concept of the cafe is unique, we wanted to create a space for the acid attack survivors who face a lot of problems because of their faces. At Sheroes cafes, we protest against the wrongs, the way women & weaker sections of the society are being treated. It is important because women have nitric or sulphuric acid thrown onto their faces for some perceived transgression, rendering them permanently disfigured, causing extreme physical and mental health damage, and sometimes even killing them. At both the centres of Sheroes Hangout, we’ve been involved with many activists communities, particular group in the area of women empowerment, promoting humanity. We work with the youth who have enormous chance to change the mindsets.

We have more than 40 acid attack survivor women who are benefited by the cafés in Agra and Lucknow. Unfortunately, the first café that was started in Agra in 2014 has been demolished in the month of July last year. It is located in the Fatehabad road of Tajganj, falling in the vicinity of the very famous Taj Mahal. The café has been demolished because the National Highway Authority of India planned to widen the Fatehabad road, that is, increasing the lanes of the road. The café was established on a strictly limited budget in a rented store that was once a shoe shop. At present we are left in a moment of exasperation with very little space left for us to serve the visitors at the café. For those of you who have visited the café earlier would have noticed the wall with the iconic graffiti at the entrance has also been demolished.
We feel sad and anxious to plan the coming days of the project. The next step is that we are planning to relocate the café to some other location soon.

Why do we think Sheroes Hangouts are important?  

  • Sheroes are important because when survivors finally get rid of operations and hospital admissions they keep high hopes of getting a job to overcome the dept of the hospital expenses. They live with disabilities and find there are very few opportunities out there to them. At that very moment Sheroes project help them getting a good job that can also support them in their trough journeys. There are more than 40 women acid attack survivors who are employed at the Sheroes Projects. 

  • Sheroes are important because it allows the acid attack survivors to get exposure that they get that they might not have got otherwise. 

  • Sheroes are important because the very first time in the history this cafe project has emerged as a space were people got an opportunity to understand the problem in society and the survivors want to share this information with other people. Cafe is a platform to inform the masses a problem and a way to create greater social change. 

  • Sheroes are important because most of the ways to protests are often too old. The way the protests work, they disrupt, involves chants and signs with bold messages which creates polarity in reactions. At Sheroes cafes, we don’t make people angry, rather we create an opposite effect what we want from ourselves. We try to get people interested and involved.

  • Sheroes are important because it is a civil right moment to ensure that people become aware of the violent society that they are living in, a women’s right moment informing people that most of violence are against women. 




As per the reports of NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau), every year our country witnesses more than 250 acid attacks. There is no rehabilitation program setup by any Government body, one of its unique kind, the cafe Sheroes Hangout is a ray of hope for the survivors of acid attack  from all over the country.
Sheroes Hangout has proven to be successful model to fight against the stigmas of women who have survived acid attack. It is a cafe for the masses and mode of livelihood for the distressed women. Being a café, it gives an opportunity to the public to visit and meet the brave women who have managed to survive and shown their courage to fight back the social evils of our society. At the same time, the project also creates an earning opportunity for their dignified service at the café so that they can raise their children and live a life with respect and self-esteem as other women in our society.

 Helps the survivors to overcome the trauma of the acid attacks because food is one thing which act as a catalyst between the society & the survivors. The society which has boycotted them for the guilt which they had never done.

Reach-Out & Welfare Centre

The reach out project is to reach to maximum number of acid attack survivors throughout the country with the help of our chain of volunteers. A volunteer from a specific demographic place can reach to a survivor nearby and bring them to the cafe where the proper documentation would be done. The documentation describes the medical, household, financial, educational, age, local & social status of the any survivor. This research data help us to understand what an acid attacked survivor want from us & of course it helps us to explore more ways to help the survivors.

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7th November 2020
Dear Supporters,

As the Coronavirus hits the world, it has changed the living way of humans, societies across the globe in an unpredictable way, and the small community of acid attack survivors could not remain untouched from its adverse effect. This community is one of those communities which was never under the consideration of mainstream in the normal situation then there is COVID which made this community more vulnerable than ever it was!

We have added one more leg to our business model, a new profitable venture "A Gift Story" like Sheroes Hangout to bring the changes in the lives of acid attacks survivors. This venture will be able to directly employ about 100 survivors by the end of 2021. Considering the circumstances of COVID-19, we estimate that the café model will not be a viable business at least until March 2022 and so, it will directly impact the livelihood of 30 acid attack survivors associated with it. Meanwhile, the café model will also have an effect on the rehabilitation plans of the foundation. The rehabilitation program involving around 150 survivors may have to be discontinued.

This new model A gift Story will bring many opportunities for the survivors as This business will seek employment opportunities for survivors not only in individual customized gifting through online orders but also explore corporate gifting.

You can check out the range of products made by our survivors at www.agiftstory.store

Also, to make it successful like Sheroes Hangout, we need your support to build it. For the same, we have started a campaign where you can extend your support.
https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-ritu-saini

Thank you.
Dear Supporters,

As the Coronavirus hits the world, it has changed the living way of humans, societies across the globe in an unpredictable way, and the small community of acid attack survivors could not remain untouched from its adverse effect. This community is one of those communities which was never under the consideration of mainstream in the normal situation then there is COVID which made this community more vulnerable than ever it was!

We have added one more leg to our business model, a new profitable venture "A Gift Story" like Sheroes Hangout to bring the changes in the lives of acid attacks survivors. This venture will be able to directly employ about 100 survivors by the end of 2021. Considering the circumstances of COVID-19, we estimate that the café model will not be a viable business at least until March 2022 and so, it will directly impact the livelihood of 30 acid attack survivors associated with it. Meanwhile, the café model will also have an effect on the rehabilitation plans of the foundation. The rehabilitation program involving around 150 survivors may have to be discontinued.

This new model A gift Story will bring many opportunities for the survivors as This business will seek employment opportunities for survivors not only in individual customized gifting through online orders but also explore corporate gifting.

You can check out the range of products made by our survivors at www.agiftstory.store

Also, to make it successful like Sheroes Hangout, we need your support to build it. For the same, we have started a campaign where you can extend your support.
https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-ritu-saini

Thank you.
23rd July 2020
Hello Friends,

Thank you for your love & support you showered on us.

Since the lockdown began, the closing of the cafes has caused uncertainty in the Jobs of the beneficiaries & other staff associated with the cafe. We fought tooth & nails every day to secure their jobs, for the same we started a fundraising campaign (bit.ly/supportsheroesincovid) to ensure a survival amount of Rs 5K for the next 6 months for the beneficiaries. Later with the help of supporters & loved ones we were able to increase that amount to Rs 10K.

Also, we launched a helpline number for the acid attack survivors in India & interestingly after its launch we got the overwhelming response. The good news is we have decided to help the 30 survivors other than of Sheroes with a sum of Rs 5K for 6 months, as they were also suffering to fulfill their basic & fundamental needs out of which the first installment has been released to them.

The other relieving news came from the Lucknow chapter of the Sheroes Hangout, where after the guidelines from the Government the operations began from 8th June. However, the sales graph is very low & below the average and eventually, it is not able to cover the running costs & staff salaries who are working there in these challenging times but yes somewhere it is helping us to regain the lost momentum.

Talking about Agra chapter, it seems very difficult to run the cafe even with the new normals for another 6 months, the reason being Agra is very badly affected with the COVID & is among the top affected cities of the state & the other reason is its business highly depends upon the tourists and there are uncertainties over the travel & tourism in the near future. It would not be wrong to say that the cafe business is going to suffer probably for more than one year. But the concern is the closing of operations has not stopped the operational expenses including the rents & staff salaries other than beneficiaries.

We wish you to be safe during a global pandemic.

Also, you can check the details of our new campaign at bit.ly/supportsheroesincovid

Thank you.
Hello Friends,

Thank you for your love & support you showered on us.

Since the lockdown began, the closing of the cafes has caused uncertainty in the Jobs of the beneficiaries & other staff associated with the cafe. We fought tooth & nails every day to secure their jobs, for the same we started a fundraising campaign (bit.ly/supportsheroesincovid) to ensure a survival amount of Rs 5K for the next 6 months for the beneficiaries. Later with the help of supporters & loved ones we were able to increase that amount to Rs 10K.

Also, we launched a helpline number for the acid attack survivors in India & interestingly after its launch we got the overwhelming response. The good news is we have decided to help the 30 survivors other than of Sheroes with a sum of Rs 5K for 6 months, as they were also suffering to fulfill their basic & fundamental needs out of which the first installment has been released to them.

The other relieving news came from the Lucknow chapter of the Sheroes Hangout, where after the guidelines from the Government the operations began from 8th June. However, the sales graph is very low & below the average and eventually, it is not able to cover the running costs & staff salaries who are working there in these challenging times but yes somewhere it is helping us to regain the lost momentum.

Talking about Agra chapter, it seems very difficult to run the cafe even with the new normals for another 6 months, the reason being Agra is very badly affected with the COVID & is among the top affected cities of the state & the other reason is its business highly depends upon the tourists and there are uncertainties over the travel & tourism in the near future. It would not be wrong to say that the cafe business is going to suffer probably for more than one year. But the concern is the closing of operations has not stopped the operational expenses including the rents & staff salaries other than beneficiaries.

We wish you to be safe during a global pandemic.

Also, you can check the details of our new campaign at bit.ly/supportsheroesincovid

Thank you.
3rd June 2020
Dear Friends,

Thank you for your love & support.

COVID-19 has brought some of the most difficult times that we have seen together, as the human race. While it restricts our movement and free will, it also hampers our growth and success.

Sheroes Hangout is a small community, dedicated to the well being of acid - attack survivors. This pandemic has caused not just the community to lose out on their income but has also had a negative and demotivational impact on their psyche.

The Crowdfunding Programme is a way to request you to help us benefit a noble cause like this! The link for Crowdfunding is Live now at https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-garima-awasthi

Please spread the word. A minimal contribution will make a huge difference in the lives of many.

Thank you.
Dear Friends,

Thank you for your love & support.

COVID-19 has brought some of the most difficult times that we have seen together, as the human race. While it restricts our movement and free will, it also hampers our growth and success.

Sheroes Hangout is a small community, dedicated to the well being of acid - attack survivors. This pandemic has caused not just the community to lose out on their income but has also had a negative and demotivational impact on their psyche.

The Crowdfunding Programme is a way to request you to help us benefit a noble cause like this! The link for Crowdfunding is Live now at https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-garima-awasthi

Please spread the word. A minimal contribution will make a huge difference in the lives of many.

Thank you.
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Goal: Rs.100,000

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Proud of you people. Keep supporting the acid attack victims like this.