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Recently, the Supreme Court approved the suggested compensation for female survivors of acid attacks and sexual assaults. But what monetary compensation is enough for those whose lives are forever affected by these acts?
Acid attacks as well as sexual assault are heinous acts which hurt the person not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
The very definition of the word rape mentions that it is an act committed against the will of a person. The act does not inflict only pain but can also scar the very soul of the women who are attacked. Sometimes, the trauma is so great that it impacts on the survivor all through her life, including on her relationships with other people. What is worse is that at times, gang rape victims do not survive the act.
As per the scheme approved now, a compensation between Rs 5 lakh – Rs.10 lakh is to be paid in case of loss of life of a gang rape victim. Will this amount be enough to make up for the loss of a bright spark of life?
The other set of compensations approved are for the survivors of acid attacks. These attacks not only disfigure the girl/woman but also damage many organs significantly. The cost of surgeries needed to reverse these damages runs into crores. The compensation for this crime has been set as between Rs. 5 lakhs – 7 lakhs, which may barely cover the medical expenses that the survivors will have. We cannot forget moreover, that due to disfigurement the girls are unable to have a chance at getting jobs or having a regular life.
These compensations are no doubt needed to help survivors rebuild their lives. But the amounts decided are too less when compared to their suffering. The amount needs to be decided on a case to case basis, depending on the needs of the survivor with guidelines based on the nature of injuries/help needed. While this has been provided for, the quantum is less, and a cap of a maximum amount cannot be placed for these crimes. There have been many lives and futures lost due to these crimes. It takes a lot of courage and optimism on the part of survivors to pick themselves up and move on. A compensation is the boost that they need to get a second chance.
Along with such compensation, there is also a need for the courts to give harsher punishments to the culprits of such crimes with timely investigation and trial, so that it acts as a deterrent for future offenders.
There is a need to ensure that such crimes are wiped out from our country so that our daughters can live their lives free of fear, so that they can bloom and reach their full potential; so that they are not hampered by looking behind their shoulders and trying to escape the monsters currently walking amongst us.
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