In the wake of increasing incidents of acid attacks, here are some filmmakers who are planning to spread awareness about this through films.
An Oscar winning film, which poignantly captured the trauma and helplessness of acid victims in Pakistan may soon be shown in India, says filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who is finalising talks for the same here.
“A victim of acid attack anywhere in the world undergoes the same mental and physical agony. So the film even though it focuses on Pakistan it also speaks to all these different people. And any person who watches the documentary can find resonance with the victim,” Sharmeen.
The filmmaker from Karachi who screened “Saving Face” that she co-directed with Daniel Junge here late last evening says a network from India has approached her for telecast rights. Sharmeen shot the documentary to highlight the menace of acid violence that has shown to be a major crime against woman in the South Asian region.
Annually, over 100 cases – majorly women – are known to be victimised by brutal acid attacks while countless others go unreported, the film shows. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred.
Many reported assailants, often a husband or someone else close to the victim, receive minimal if any punishment from the state. The situation is quite similar in India, say activists.
“There are hardly any NGOs or safe houses for acid attack victims in India. For activists or social workers to get the number of cases of acid attack in India is like finding a needle in haystack. One cannot get the data as there is no particular IPC section under which this kind of criminal act fall under,” said Alok Dixit, a social activist working with victims of acid attacks.