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Entries in acid (2)

Wednesday
Dec262012

Acid Attack Victim Using TV "Millionaire" Money for More Surgery

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sonali Mukherjee, the 27-year-old acid attack victim who went on India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to win big, told ABC News she plans to use her first prize money to finance more reconstructive surgery on her face.

"My family is very poor," said Mukherjee, speaking to ABC News on Tuesday by phone from her home in New Delhi.  "They paid all our money for my surgeries, and we had to stop my treatment."

On April 22, 2003, when Mukherjee was studying sociology in the eastern city of Dhanbad, three fellow students whose advances she'd spurned broke into her room at midnight as she slept and threw acid in her face as payback.  The attack left Mukherjee disfigured, blind and partially deaf.

Nine years after attack, Mukherjee decided she could no longer hide.  She made a public plea to the Indian government last July for help in receiving skin reconstructive surgery.  She also called for tougher penalties on her assailants, who were released on bail after serving three years in jail.

Mukherjee went so far as to appeal to the government for the right to commit suicide -- suicide is illegal in India -- seeing it as the only way out of her pain.

"I felt hopeless and helpless.  I didn't want to live anymore.  The conditions for my treatment were very difficult," Mukherjee told ABC News.

Soon after her plea to the state, Mukherjee started to receive some assistance.

"I started getting phone calls and messages, and a lot of people came to help. … Now I feel there is some hope. … I don't want to die anymore," she said.

In a desperate attempt to receive more funds, and perhaps feeling somewhat emboldened, Mukherjee became a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- the same show that was the centerpiece of the 2008 Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Mukherjee answered 10 questions correctly and took first prize -- 2.5 million rupees, about $46,000 -- which will go toward her next round of reconstructive surgeries.

"I've had 22 operations so far and I need many more. … When I recover, I want to help people like me," Mukherjee told ABC News.  "I want to talk to foundations to help other victims of acid attacks.  But I have to get better first."

"I can cash my prize in two months," said Mukherjee, who said she hopes to return to university one day.

"I was really close to graduating before the attack," she said.  "Now I have a dream of going back to university and getting a degree and learning to do more on the computer."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov022012

Pakistani Parents Attack Daughter with Acid for Talking to Boy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Pakistani parents in a remote village allegedly killed their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid all over her face and body after they caught her talking to an unknown boy, according to local police and hospital officials.

The incident happened in Kotli, a small town in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.  The parents allegedly confessed to the attack after she spoke with a boy outside their house.

According to local police, the girl's father, Mohammed Zafar, became enraged when he found his teenage daughter, Anvu Shah, with the boy outside their home.

In many rural areas of Pakistan, deeply conservative social traditions forbid girls to speak or be seen with boys who are not related by blood.

"Zafar beat her up and then poured acid over her with the help of his wife," Tahir Ayub, a police officer, told Agence France Presse. "She was badly burnt, but they did not take her to hospital until the next morning, and she died on Wednesday."

Local media reports, citing hospital officials, say her death was slow and excruciatingly painful.  The girl was brought to the hospital with third degree burns all over her body, including her face, arms and chest.  Police were reportedly alerted to the attack by one of Shah's female relatives.

Her parents have now been charged with murder.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio