Kalampur:Like every other day, she was on her way to Kalampur after crossing the Hati river for her computer class. She never imagined that something so awful would happen to her. And, there was no reason for her to worry.
However, her whole world collapsed in a fraction of a second. All of a sudden she could feel a burning sensation on her face. A youth was standing in front of her with an acid bottle.
Whenever Damayanti, elder daughter of Jukta Bihari of Khandi Dangariguda village under this block in Kalahandi district, thinks of the most horrible day of her life, January 15, 2018, a chill runs down her spine.
The horrible moment is still fresh in her mind. Soon after she had had acid thrown over her face by the youth, she rushed to the Hati river and took a dip in waters. Using her presence of mind, she could save her life, but suffered burn injuries on her face and hand.
Her family members immediately rushed her to Kalampur Primary Health Centre (PHC) and then to Bhawanipatna Government Hospital. Later, she got admitted to plastic surgery department of SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
About seven months later, Damayanti came to her village last Wednesday — with a new face. Though she had been in the dumps thinking about how to restart her life, she has in the meantime gathered courage to face society that taunts acid attack survivors, instead of showing sympathy. The way her friends are treating her now has made her stronger. She wants to devote her time for the cause of society. “If I am given a government job, I can live my life and serve the society as well,” she said.
Even today she feels lurking danger. “As my life is under threat, I have met the Collector and requested him to provide security to me,” she said. “The ordeal I have gone through should never befall on anyone,” she said with tears welling up her eyes.
More importantly, she wants girls and women to not think life ceases to exist after any mishap. “Every sunrise brings a new hope,” she claims.