Saturday 27 May 2017 News Updated at 08:05 AM IST
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Lucknow acid attack victim finds a good samaritan - Deccan Herald
Lucknow acid attack victim finds a good samaritan
Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, DH News Service,
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Acid attack victim Kavita with husband, Nitesh.
Her name is Kavita and it lost its meaning to her when five years back a jilted lover threw acid on her after he came to know that she was getting married to someone else.

Kavita had suffered serious burns on her eyes, head, ears, face and other parts of the body and had to spend a lot of time in a hospital. The burns not only left physical marks on her body but also left a deep mental scar. "I never thought that I would be able to live a normal life. I had been living in a virtual hell, at least mentally,” she says.

Destiny had willed differently for Kavita. Love entered her life without making any noise. The person, who had stood by her during those days, when she had been battling to stay normal, brought back poetry in her life. The feeling for Kavita was special as it was Nitesh with whom her marriage had been fixed, when she was attacked with acid.

"Nitesh is a rare person. He not only waited for me but also helped me in every possible way,” she said. Kavita and Nitesh tied the nuptial knot at a temple in Lucknow a few days back in the presence of all those, who had lent a helping hand to her in making her feel normal again after the gruesome attack.

Attired in a stylish red "lehnga” (a popular wedding dress for brides), Kavita looked stunningly beautiful and one could not say she was the same girl, whose body and soul were ruined barely a few years back.

One of the persons, who played a key role in Kavita’s post-acid attack life, is young social activist Shiva Mishra. Shiva, who is the convener of the Young Women Committee of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), remained by Kavita’s side throughout her struggle.

"When I came in contact with Kavita, she was depressed. It seemed as if she had no wish to live. Her confidence level was very low,” Shiva says.

"It was, however, not easy to win the trust of shattered Kavita. She had seen many people promising to rebuild her life only to vanish when the time came to deliver the assurance. Kavita simply would not trust any one,” Shiva said.

"The first thing Kavita asked me when I came into contact with her was whether I too will follow in the footsteps of all those people,’’ she told DH. It took lot of efforts on the part of Shiva to convince Kavita that she would stand by her all along.

Shiva said that Kavita needed many reconstructive surgeries. "Such surgeries are performed only by experts and they do not come cheap,” she added.

She said that she got in touch with one Vivek Kumar, a surgeon, and requested him to perform the surgeries. "Vivek hesitated initially. After all it would have entailed huge fee and Kavita was in no position to pay the charges,” Shiva said.

She said that after some persuasion, Vivek agreed to perform the surgeries. "The surgeries were performed on her eye brows and hairs were transplanted. Some other surgeries were performed as well,” she said.

Kavita was a changed girl after the surgeries. Slowly she regained her confidence. "Kavita still needs a few reconstructive surgeries on her ears,” Shiva added.

Apparently happy that his expertise gave Kavita another chance to live her life in a normal way with her partner, Vivek also threw a small party to celebrate her marriage.

Vivek’s connection with Kavita did not end with latter’s marriage. It in fact began after that. Kavita, who had done a certificate course in beautician training and paper jewellery making, now runs an artificial jewellery shop in Vivek’s clinic.

"Kavita is not a survivor…she is a role model….she is a leader…the other acid attack survivors look up to her as their mentor and guide,” Shiva said.
Shiva is involved in rehabilitation of many acid attack survivors. Her immediate goal is to help at least a dozen acid attack victims. "Acid attack victims feel lonely. They feel that the people only pay lip service. They do not want sympathy. We should act normally with them,” she said.

"You have to feel their pain, share their grief and be their friends. I have hundreds of selfies with Kavita. We have shared many joyous moments together,” Shiva added.

Kavita acknowledges it. She said that she would not have been able to live a normal life without the help of people like Shiva and Vivek. "Without the help of these nice people, I would not have been happy again,” she said.

Kavita has a word of advice for the girls, who have faced acid attacks. "Do not lose hope…have belief in yourself,’’ she says. And she asks them to continue to raise their voice against such attacks and try to bring the culprits to the book. Poetry has once again returned to Kavita’s life.