To address the problem of acid attacks, line department/organization-wise recommendations are as follows:
Government Health Department :
- There must be a widespread awareness campaign in educational institutions, media, police personnel and primary health centres regarding the first aid to be administered in case of acid attacks. Proper first aid would prevent further damage to the body parts.
- Medical aid should be provided as early as possible. Paramedics and other medical professionals should be trained in treating acid burn cases.
Government Police Department :
- Police should take initiative to file criminal cases against accused. They should be encouraged to file criminal cases suo motu.
- Improving the complaints procedures and police handling requires training and reform.
- Police should react quickly in the case of stalking as they do in cases of eve- teasing.
State Government :
- The respective state governments should pay compensation up to Rs. 25-30 lakhs to the acid survivors as a rehabilitative measure as it would be a life-long trauma for the dismembered survivors. This should not remain restricted to Rs. 3.0 lakhs which is the minimum amount directed by the Honb’le Supreme Court of India , to be paid to the survivors within 3 months.
- The Government should also bear the expenses for undergoing treatment as already directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and implemented by some of the state governments.
Amendments to the IPC by including 326A and 326B has been a major step in the right direction. However, more needs to be done to ensure early disposal of such cases throgh fast track court and making the process time bound as has been done in other countries like Bangladesh.
Prevention of violence necessitates that justice is administered in incidents of violence against women and that the cases are not unduly delayed. This also requires sensitization of the legal system and requisite monitoring.
Women’s Commission :
The NCW should play a pivotal role in bringing amendments to the existing laws and fast track disposal of cases.
- Parents should mentor their children, especially the boy child from childhood, to make them understand and respect the likes and dislikes of others. They must also make the child learn to absorb rejection in a positive way.
- Boys displaying chauvinistic behaviour should be identified at an early stage and given appropriate age specific guidance and counseling.
- Stalking should be considered a serious offence by family members, the police and the judiciary, and stalkers should be brought to book at an early stage. Stalking must be viewed as a serious offence. In the West, stalking is taken seriously but in Asia it is not even considered a crime. A stalker is emboldened when no action is taken against him. Usually, family members blame the girl if she complains of stalking. If they take such complaints seriously, possible consequences can be avoided.
Civil Society Organisations (NGOs and Educational Institutions) :
- Boys displaying chauvinistic behaviour, identified by family, must be provided with age-specific professional counseling.
- Girls should be given training in identifying stalkers with personality disorder who can not tolerate rejection.
It is always better to maintain a distance from such persons.
Commercial television enterprises should be sensitized not to glorify male chauvinistic tendencies since they are potential role models for many a child.