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Nodal officers want restriction on unregulated sale of acid

A meeting of the National Commission for Women (NCW) in New Delhi on Wednesday strongly advocated the ban on open sale and purchase of acid and other corrosive substances to deal with the growing incidents of acid attacks in many places of the country.

Chaired by Chairperson of the Commission, Rekha Sharma, the ‘All India Nodal Officers Meeting on Acid Attack, covered compensation for survivors, treatment and rehabilitation of survivors, among other topics.

In her opening address of the meeting attended by 23 nodal officers and representatives from States,  Sharma emphasized on the need to bring an end to unregulated sale of acid and other corrosive substances and the need for proper rehabilitation of survivors.

She said, “despite the Supreme Court’s ban, the truth is that acid still remains available for sale. It must be ensured that strict provisions are kept in place to stop the unregulated sale of acid. No society can be considered civilized if it does not act to prevent such a heinous atrocity on women.”

Some of the recommendations emerging from the meeting were conducting an extensive campaign to raise awareness about gender sensitivity in schools, universities, and among law enforcement and other institutions; imposing strict regulations on sale of acid, with District Magistrates, being the only authority to grant licenses, confirming stocks after 15 days, and requiring regular reporting on the sale of acid.

The group recommended treating victims of petrol and diesel attacks in the same way as victims of acid attacks in terms of compensation. The panel also suggested providing financial support to private hospitals for free medical care for acid attack victims, reservation in government jobs for acid attack survivors, and setting up a corpus fund for them through corporate social responsibility.

Calling on the Censor Board to restrict glorification of revenge plots in movies, streamlining the compensation process for victims, enabling more rehabilitation and employment opportunities for survivors of acid attacks were also some of the other suggestions made during the meeting.

The Commission will take all recommendations discussed during the meeting forward to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to help women affected by acid attacks and for prevention of such cases.

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