Set off warning: Mentions of acid assault, violence towards girls
In Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution, he spoke about ‘Survival of the fittest’. He implied that solely the strongest would survive. One one that embodies this idea is Dr Mahalakshmi YN from Mysuru. An acid assault survivor, she believes in giving again to society as a health care provider.
What’s particular about this physician’s life is that she helps the identical society that didn’t come to her help when she wanted it probably the most.
On 11 January 2001, a 26-year-old Dr Mahalakshmi was headed dwelling from her clinic, when a person, whose advances she had spurned, threw acid on her.
“As I lay down on the street, crying, in quite a lot of ache, no person got here to assist me. Individuals locked themselves of their homes. No one gave me water. Nevertheless, as I used to be recovering, I made a decision that I ought to do one thing for this society. I might not deal with them like how they handled me,” says Dr Mahalakshmi.
The one that attacked her was the owner who she had rented her clinic from. He would comply with her and misbehave. The physician then filed a police grievance towards him, and when she refused to withdraw the grievance, he attacked her.
Acid assaults are one of the crucial devastating types of social injustices on a lady. It causes disfigurement and incapacity. One wants quite a lot of braveness and consistency to come back out of it.– Dr Mahalakshmi
With the assistance and help of her mother and father and two sisters, she says she was capable of get well. She waged a protracted authorized battle towards her harasser who was convicted by the Karnataka Excessive Courtroom in 2012 and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.
“In 2001, the legal guidelines weren’t so stringent. Later, the legislation was amended to provide a minimal of ten years of rigorous imprisonment to acid attackers. I’m glad that the legislation has been modified and the judiciary helps acid assault victims,” provides the physician.
‘Essential to teach girls’
After spending a yr in restoration and over 25 reconstructive surgical procedures, the physician has been working as a medical officer with the Karnataka Authorities Well being and Household Providers on the Agrahara Outdated Main Well being Centre (PHC) in Mysuru for over 20 years.
She says that for a lady to come back out of this, one wants schooling, persistence, a powerful help system, constant therapy, and willpower.
“When one goes by means of it, it’s completely heart-wrenching. I might simply lay in mattress for over a yr, pondering of what to do. When one turns into disabled of their 20s, it’s very tough to just accept. Your complete life goes for a toss, in that one second. It’s important to be mentally very robust, because the restoration course of is laborious. It doesn’t occur in a single day, or over a fortnight. It’s important to be constant together with your therapy. Reconstructive surgical procedure can’t be carried out in a single sitting, as acid is a harmful, toxic chemical,” provides the survivor.
She additionally provides that one must be occupied to come back out of it, and one of the best ways for that, in keeping with her, is to have an schooling. Her MBBS from Mysore Medical Faculty helped her.
“Training is essential for a lady to face society with dedication and braveness when such a heinous assault takes place. I used to be capable of come out of it as I began therapeutic folks. I really feel happy that I can relieve any person’s ache. It lets me sleep peacefully at night time,” provides the physician.
A help system can be integral.
“My mother and father and sisters had been my rock. My father is an advocate and my mom was my best supply of inspiration. They helped me face this tough state of affairs. I used to be capable of bear the trauma and agony because of them,” says Dr Mahalakshmi.
As we speak, this physician sees a minimum of 60-80 sufferers every day and presents to counsel them over and above the bodily check-ups. “We see all types of individuals on the hospital. Most girls have home points. I focus on their private points too and provides them braveness. Being mentally match is essential. I might name an individual wholesome provided that their psychological and bodily state is all proper,” says the physician.
For acid assault survivors, Dr Mahalaxmi has one robust message — “Don’t let your incapacity or disfigurement be a hindrance to dealing with society”. Whereas the 4 pillars of democracy are aiding acid assault survivors, it’s now society’s flip to alter.
“Our society wants to alter. Why ought to an acid assault survivor sit inside 4 partitions? Shouldn’t the attacker be ashamed? Acid assaults normally occur as a result of the attacker needs to destroy the great thing about a lady. Magnificence is not only outer look, it lies within the goodness of our hearts. I’ve taken it upon myself to convey consciousness about this and cease social injustice for ladies,” says Dr Mahalakshmi.
She additionally runs a telegram group known as ‘Girls Empowerment’.
You’ll be able to contact Dr Mahalakshmi on Whatsapp on +91-9019574358 if you happen to want counselling or assist.
Edited by Yoshita Rao, Photos Courtesy Dr Mahalakshmi