Baroness Supports Bangla Acid Attack Victims

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Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, offers support to acid attack victims in Bangladesh as the world marks International Women’s Day on March 8….reports Asian Lite News

Monir -   Photo credit: Ricci Coughlan / DFID  
Monir –  
Photo credit: Ricci Coughlan / DFID

Baroness Sandip Verma, the cross-Whitehall champion for tackling violence against women and girls, said UK will assist acid attack victims of Bangladesh to reconstruct their shattered life.

“As the biggest bilateral donor in Bangladesh, our aim is to work with the people of Bangladesh to help transform the lives of the poorest, most vulnerable and most marginalised,” said Baroness Verma.  “UK aid funded programmes in Bangladesh leave no one behind and it is crucial that we continue vital work on gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

Recently Baroness Verma travelled to Bangladesh where she saw DFID-funded acid attack victim support programmes.  She met Monira, a victim and an activist , who has spoken out against acid attacks.

 

In 1998, Monira Akter was attacked with acid and her life was changed forever in an instant. The left side of her face and the upper part of her body was badly burnt. She was only 9-year-old at the time. The Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) arranged for Monira to travel to Spain for reconstructive surgery.

“The Monira you see here today is because of Acid Survivors Foundation, they have given me the treatment and education I needed,” the brave girl said. “People look at acid survivors and think it might have been their fault, but I want to help change that perception. There has been progress, people now at least ask me why it happened.”

Monira wants to take a stand and fight against all forms of violence.

DFID supports Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) to help further gender equality and women’s advancement, improve the safety and security of all citizens – particularly women and girls. The project promotes awareness of acid attacks and provides medical, financial and psychological support to survivors. It also campaigns for the implementation of new laws, as well as bringing perpetrators of acid attacks to justice and advocating for tighter regulation of the sale and distribution of acid.

Since its inception ASF has treated more than 2,084 survivors of acid attack (women, children and men). According to ASF’s records a majority of the survivors of acid violence are women and girls (70%). Children account for 24% of the total. 571 survivors received 1,602 medical services in last 3 years.