Soniya Choudhary
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Indian acid attack survivor's beauty campaign

Acid attacks have become a huge issue in India. Mostly they involve men - who typically claim to be spurned suitors - throwing acid in the faces of women.

According to the official statistics, there are a few hundred such attacks every year.

That is not a big number given India's vast population, but campaigners say the figures are a grotesque underestimate and argue the effects of acid attacks are so devastating the issue demands serious action.

There has been legislation to restrict the sale of acid, but campaigning groups say it is still easily available if you want it.

They also say that few survivors receive the compensation they are due, or are able to access free medical treatment.

Soniya Choudhary's story is fairly typical; she unwittingly bought a stolen mobile phone from a man who lived near her home on the outskirts of Delhi.

He ended up in jail and blamed her. When she refused to apologise, he arranged for acid to be thrown in her face.

But Soniya has not let her experience define her as a victim.

At her beauty salon, she tries to help other survivors of acid attacks reclaim their sense of pride.

To learn more about acids, including an extended report about acid attacks, listen to Business Daily's latest Elements radio podcast.

  • 18 Aug 2015
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