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Friday - - LETTER -

The ar­ti­cle on acid at­tack vic­tims in In­dia re­ally sad­dened me (‘In­side I’m still beau­ti­ful’, March 21). What’s even more sad­den­ing is the num­ber of these vic­tims is grow­ing ev­ery year.

The pun­ish­ment the In­dian govern­ment con­sid­ers for people who com­mit this in­hu­mane crime is not suf­fi­cient. It should be more se­vere as the act not only de­stroys beauty but de­stroys the vic­tim’s life.

Seven years of im­pris­on­ment with the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing re­leased on bail is just not enough to de­ter crim­i­nals – mostly men – who com­mit this heinous act.

The govern­ment should also in­crease the amount of money given to the vic­tim as com­pen­sa­tion. This would help the vic­tim pay for cor­rec­tive surgery and start her life all over again.

I be­lieve that the tougher the pun­ish­ment gets, the fewer people will com­mit this hate­ful crime.

AH­MAD MONEER GHAFORI, VIA EMAIL

You are ab­so­lutely right, Ah­mad. It is so shock­ing that many men, like the one who at­tacked Laxmi, are re­leased so soon – in her at­tacker’s case within amonth – while the vic­tims face a life­time of pain and stigma. A new law has now in­tro­duced amin­i­mum 10-year im­pris­on­ment term, but they need to stop giv­ing bail for this crime. Mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to buy acid over the counter is also an im­por­tant step, which the govern­ment is ad­dress­ing. They are work­ing to­wards chang­ing the law. Karen, edi­tor

Your re­port on acid at­tacks made me won­der about the feel­ing called ‘love’.

What is it about this emo­tion that makes people de­stroy the lives of those who are the ob­ject of their de­sire if they’re re­jected?

It’s time that men stop think­ing women are mere ob­jects and be­gin to treat them with re­spect.

I wish the or­gan­i­sa­tion Stop Acid At­tacks ev­ery suc­cess un­der the lead­er­ship of Alok, sup­ported by Laxmi.

K SI­VASANKARAN, ABU DHABI

Iwas deeply sad­dened on read­ing about Laxmi Agar­wal’s ex­pe­ri­ence. It com­pelled me to have a talk with my teenage daugh­ter on what to do if she comes across a stranger who ex­presses his love for her but she does not re­cip­ro­cate the feel­ing.

I told her that she needn’t be scared and she should im­me­di­ately tell her fam­ily about the per­son. By ig­nor­ing him, he is go­ing to feel re­jected and will be­gin to de­velop neg­a­tive thoughts that could have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions such as harm­ing her or him­self. The fam­ily can talk to the man and help him find a so­lu­tion to his prob­lems.

In Laxmi’s case I wish she had spo­ken to his fam­ily about the in­ci­dent so they could have helped him see sense, there­fore pre­vent­ing this hor­ren­dous crime.

My prayers are with Laxmi and all other vic­tims of acid at­tacks. May their fu­ture be bright and may ev­ery de­sire of their heart be ful­filled. This hor­ren­dous crime should stop.

DLIMA, VIA EMAIL

We have had so many letters on this ar­ti­cle and I’m glad you spoke to your daugh­ter about this im­por­tant is­sue. We need to stamp out this evil crime.

Laxmi Agar­wal’s brav­ery in­spired you

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