The Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation (formerly Acid Survivors Foundation
India) was established in 2010. ASWWF, an initiative of KanoriaFoundation,has since expanded its scope and range of services to support survivors of all forms of violence and atrocities against women, including trafficking and domestic violence.
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ASWWF is a leading non-profit non-governmental organization working for the prevention of acid burn and other violence against women in India.
ASWWF works towards the development and welfare of women. It acts as a forum for advocacy of acid related cases and promotes a social environment conducive to elimination of gender violence. ASWWF espouses a firm legal basis for prosecution of offenders. It also advocatesfor prescription of national guidelines for treatment, aftercare and rehabilitation of acid survivors and other survivors. ASWWF operates through a network of offices pan India. The Foundation has plans to open more chapters and offices to further enhancethe outreach of its mission to rebuild the lives of all women survivors.
Acid assault has a more lasting and devastating psycho-physical impact on the survivors than other forms of violence. The saying that time is a great healer does not lessen the traumatized woman’s woes who has to encounter shame and suffering for her very existence. ASWWF is trying to make the lives of the survivors a little easier and better. In order to do that and provide holistic care to the survivors ASWWF along with partner organizations in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Uganda, under the guidance of Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) met at Kathmandu in 2012 where a “Theory of Change” (TOC) was formulated.
“TOC” envisaged the following approaches:
- Effectively implemented legislation reduces the incidence of attacks and increases access to justice for survivors, helping them to feel safer.
- Awareness programmes, prevention campaigns and media attention reduces the incidence of attacks and create greater awareness about the causes and harmful consequences of such violence.
- Medical attention and counseling for survivors improves their health and quality of life.
- Support for rehabilitation and reintegration, including the provision of vocational and educational opportunities and livelihood skills help to improve survivors’ quality of life and enables them to live as a part of society.
- Providing survivors with life skills and knowledge about their rights increase their self-confidence and can enable some survivors to become effective and compelling advocates of change.
- Strengthening the evidence base of acid burns violence will contribute to more effective advocacy and better informed policy making in tackling violence against women and girls nationally and globally.
We aspire to have a world free from violence, where all women are empowered to live a dignified life.
- To rebuild their lives for a better tomorrow through advocacy, collaborations, by giving medical and psycho-social care and by helping them heal and recover from the trauma.
- Eradication of any kind of social, physical or psychological violence against women in the society.
- Awakening of the inner-self and empowering the disadvantaged women through proper guidance and holistic support.
- To promote an enlightened attitude towards human rights, gender equality through various means.
ASWWF’s road ahead is pretty arduous in view of the size and population of the country, lack of reliable statistics about acid violence and appropriate backup legislation.
The foremost objectives have always been collecting data, identifying partners, setting up chapters and associates, generating awareness and raising resources to keep up working for the survivors. We travelled a long way and still there are miles to go:
- ASWWF has prepared a Trauma Informed Care Kit (TICK) containing comprehensive guide, the first of its kind in the world, for treatment of traumatized survivors of acid and thermal burns.
- A Situational Analysis Report on acid violence was prepared for the first time in India, by ASWWF.
- ASWWF has started joint awareness campaigns with Kolkata Police, West Bengal Police, Odisha Police and Mumbai Police through display of posters at police stations / kiosks under their respective jurisdiction. Efforts are on for covering more states.
- Moreover ASWWF has a pan India presence which helps it get connected with the survivors better and faster.
- Since its inception ASWWF extended its help to many disadvantaged women and made headlines in the leading newspapers of India. Organizations like NALSA and different audio-visual and print media often refer ASWWF as a source of statistics.
- ASWWF organized free surgery camps in collaboration with few other like-minded organizations where free corrective surgery was provided and several survivors of acid/burn violence were benefited from the medical camps.
- ASWWF has generated employment for survivors in different private sector organizations. Some survivors have also been employed by ASWWF.
ASWWF endeavours to provide a better life to the disadvantaged women and help them stand on their own, so that in future they won’t have to put up with cruelties just because of their helplessness. ASWWF supports/assists the survivors in following areas:
- ASWWF has been extending financial assistance to survivors for treatment and surgery.
- Counseling and psychiatric care arranged.
- Logistic support in some cases for undergoing outstation treatment.
- Legal guidance and assistance in filing cases against the perpetrator with help of partners and jurists.
- Support provided right from the lodging of FIR till obtaining the final report.
- Assisting survivors in obtaining compensation.
- Intervention and Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in support of the cause.
- Educational Support
- Skill development
- Job placement
- Self employment support
- Grant for income generating activity
Awareness Building Initiative
- Organizing seminar, debates, meeting at various educational institutes.
- Corporate awareness programme.
- Participating in road shows.
- Developing documentary films for social and other mass media platforms.
- Interviews and panel discussions on radio, electronic and print media.
- International participation for spreading awareness.
- Awareness campaigns across leading national channels.