HAPPY BE­GIN­NING!

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent lko­re­porter­srs­desk@htlive.com ▪

In what made Valen­tine Day truly spe­cial, Pramo­dini Roul, an acid at­tack sur­vivor as­so­ci­ated with the Sheroes Hang­out, got en­gaged to Saroj Ku­mar Sahu, at a glit­ter­ing func­tion in Luc­know.

Roul met Saroj in 2014 when she was un­der­go­ing treat­ment of her burn in­juries.

Love blos­somed dur­ing short meet­ings amid mo­ti­va­tional and phys­io­ther­apy ses­sions and the duo de­cided to marry af­ter Saroj pro­posed to her in 2016. Pramo­dini, then 16, was at­tacked by a para­mil­i­tary force jawan with acid in 2009 af­ter she re­jected his mar­riage pro­posal.

“I am the hap­pi­est woman on earth. I never thought I would come across such mem­o­rable mo­ments. I am re­ally thank­ful to Saroj for giv­ing me such a pre­cious gift”

LUC­KNOW: Pramo­dini Roul, an acid at­tack sur­vivor as­so­ci­ated with the Sheroes Hang­out here, raised a toast to her part­ner­ship with beau Saroj Ku­mar Sahu dur­ing their grand en­gage­ment party at the hang­out on Valen­tine’s Day (Wed­nes­day evening).

“I am the hap­pi­est woman on earth. I never thought I would come across such mem­o­rable mo­ments. I am re­ally thank­ful to Saroj, my beau, for giv­ing me such a pre­cious gift,” said Pramo­dini who is fondly called ‘Rani’ by her friends.

An emo­tional Rani also thanked her par­ents, friends (other acid at­tack sur­vivors), col­leagues at the hang­out and Alok Dixit, the founder mem­ber of NGO Ch­hanv Foun­da­tion (Stop Acid At­tacks) for sup­port­ing her through­out. Shar­ing her love story, Rani said: “In 2014, I met Saroj Sahu at a hos­pi­tal where I was un­der­go­ing treat­ment of my burn in­juries.”

Saroj, who was a med­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, used to make sure he saw her every time he vis­ited the hos­pi­tal. “I never thought our meet­ings would end up in en­gage­ment,” she added.

Rani said she re­mem­bers the dis­cus­sion be­tween Saroj and the doc­tors, when he chal­lenged their claim that she won’t be able to walk for an­other four years. “Saroj had said he would prove them wrong. And he did it. Through his con­stant sup­port, phys­io­ther­apy and mo­ti­va­tion, he made me walk in four months,” she re­called.

She said Saroj ded­i­cated his life to her and it was this ges­ture that touched her. “It was then I re­alised it’s love. Af­ter he pro­posed to me in 2016, we fi­nally de­cided to go for mar­riage,” she said be­fore ex­chang­ing the rings.

“It’s the feel­ing that mat­ters, not the phys­i­cal ap­pear­ances,” said Saroj Sahu. The ex­change of rings was fol­lowed by a cou­ple dance ses­sion where Rani and Saroj gave an en­thralling dance per­for­mance on the song ‘Dil diya gal­lan’ from ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’.

“Rani’s en­gage­ment is an ex­am­ple of grow­ing so­cial ac­cep­tance of acid sur­vivors. I wish the trend con­tin­ues,” said Alok Dixit.

Rani’s mother Kavita Roul­said: “I never thought I would see my daugh­ter get­ting mar­ried. I am thank­ful to God and all those who sup­ported her.”

Rani, who hails from Odisha, was only 16 when an of­fi­cial from an Army camp in the vicin­ity of her school de­vel­oped a lik­ing for her. Af­ter stalk­ing her for months, the man threw acid on the girl on April 18, 2009 when her fam­ily re­jected the 28-year-old’s pro­posal of mar­riage . The in­ci­dent hap­pened when she was re­turn­ing home af­ter tak­ing her board exam. The acid burnt 80% of Rani’s body, left her com­pletely blind, in the ICU for nine months and on the bed for the next five years till 2014 when she met Saroj. The as­sailant was fi­nally ar­rested on Novem­ber 17 last year af­ter in­ter­ven­tion of Odisha chief min­is­ter Naveen Pat­naik.

DHEERAJ DHAWAN/HT PHOTO

▪ Acid at­tack sur­vivor Pramo­dini Roul shakes a leg with her beau Saroj Ku­mar Sahu at their en­gage­ment cer­e­mony in Luc­know on Wed­nes­day.

DHEERAJ DHAWAN/ HT PHOTO

Acid at­tack surviour Pramo­dini Raul get­ting en­gaged to her beau ▪

Saroj Ku­mar Sahu, in Luc­know on, Wed­nes­day.

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