You Helped This Family Restart Their Lives After A Brutal | Milaap

You Helped This Family Restart Their Lives After A Brutal Acid Attack, You Can Help Others Like Them

A fateful night in August 2019 saw the ruin of an entire family at the hands of its own patriarch. The Vala family had been sound asleep, when suddenly blood-curdling screams and the foul smell of burning flesh resonated throughout their tiny one bedroom house in Surat, Gujarat. Bhargav, then 23, was the first to be roused from his slumber by the sharpest pain he had ever felt consuming his body from the neck down, and he immediately realised what had happened.
“It was an acid attack, perpetrated by my own father. At that moment I thought, ‘This is it. He’s going to kill me.’ Mustering the last of my strength, I bolted to the bathroom to protect myself, but then, I heard more screams - my family was still in the room.” - Bhargav

L-R Hansaben, Pravinaben and Bhargav, following the acid attack.

Their abusive and alcoholic father acted on his threats and attacked his family

After attacking his son, Chhaganbhai Vala had made a bee-line for the rest of his family - his wife Hansaben, daughters Pravinaben (26) and Alpaben (19), and son Tarun (14). Acting on his past threats, he doused his wife with the acid, and also threw it at both his daughters. Pravinaben, who had been desperately trying to shield her younger brother, Tarun, from her father’s wrath, also received a second splash of the liquid right to her face that took away her right eye and ear.

L-R Pravinaben, Bhargav, Hansaben and Alpaben

After their mother succumbed to her injuries, they struggled to keep going

“Our lives changed for the worse practically overnight. My siblings and I suffered from near-fatal acid injuries, and we even lost our beloved mother - our only source of strength. Everything seemed dark and hopeless. We had to undergo multiple surgeries, but we were not financially capable of affording it. There were days where I didn’t feel like living anymore, but that wasn’t a solution. My siblings needed me, and I had to be there for them. Before the incident, my sister and I used to do tailoring work to make a living, but now we couldn’t do anything.” - Pravinaben

Even with the help they had received from their relatives, all the expenses that the family had borne so far had wiped out all their finances. They were struggling to afford the surgeries that Pravinaben needed to retain her face and prevent life-threatening infections.

When all hope was lost, you stepped in and gave them a second chance at life

Pravinaben, who underwent intensive surgical procedures and physiotherapy to bounce back, deems herself very lucky after you came to her family’s aid and helped them get through the most difficult time in their lives. The Vala siblings are now focused on their studies and careers, alongside their follow-up treatment. Your continuous support, both financial and emotional, has enabled them to have a positive outlook on life and they wish to ignite hope in others who may be in similar situations as them.

We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us through such a rough time in our lives. It's been hard to get out of it completely but we've all learnt not to give up. With your love and support, you gave us the strength to fight back. I thought I would never be able to become a doctor, but I've now completed my MBBS. My sister, Alpaben is pursuing nursing and Tarun is also studying in school. We're all touched and our hearts are full of gratitude. We couldn't have imagined getting past what happened if it hadn't been for you. Thank you again.” - Bhargav

As data suggests, acid attacks are on the rise, and it does not look like they will stop becoming a reality anytime soon. Every other day, a normal person’s life is completely turned upside-down by this heinous act, that causes severe physical and mental repercussions and makes them societal outcasts. They are not victims, but survivors and need your help in living their lives to the highest potential.

And this cannot be possible if their treatment is delayed primarily due to a lack of funds; further complications can arise, and completely break down their spirit if this happens. You can ensure that they undergo emergency treatment by donating to the Milaap Acid Attack Survivors Fund, which will also benefit similar causes looking for urgent medical aid.

Click here to learn more about how you can make a difference.
Click here to know more about Acid Attack Survivors