Acid Attack Survivor Helps Victims Heal From Their Scarred Past

Daulat Bi Khan’s NGO employs and empowers other victims and helps them rebuild their lives.

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2 min read

In 2010, Daulat Bi Khan, her two sisters and one-year-old niece were attacked with acid by her eldest sister and her husband. Khan’s brother-in-law wanted to marry her so he could get hold of the only house her mother left her after she passed away. When Daulat refused to marry her him, he and his wife decided to ruin her life forever.

Even with 46% of her body burnt and face disfigured, no hospital agreed to give her a free treatment. Daulat, along with her sisters and niece, got admitted into a government hospital and had no choice but to sell their house, so they could fix their scars.

Daulat B Khan recounts her ordeal. 
Daulat B Khan recounts her ordeal. 
(Photo: The Quint)

After six months, when all their money was over, she had to start work again to feed her kids. Khan was a make-up artist and got in touch with her supervisor, who told her that an acid attack survivor cannot be trusted to make other people look beautiful.

With no education or experience in any other field, Daulat decided to work as a maid. But people weren’t comfortable with her being around and were worried their kids would get scared. With no other option, she decided to beg outside a masjid in Bandra, Mumbai. She had to feed her kids, she didn’t know any other way.

Daulat Bi Khan and her sisters, Saira Banu and Reshma Shaikh. 
Daulat Bi Khan and her sisters, Saira Banu and Reshma Shaikh. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Daulat approached several NGOs for help but they would just send her for photoshoots and use her face to promote their organisations. After struggling for years, she decided to take matters in her own hands and start her own NGO to help herself and empower others like her. In November 2016, Daulat started the Acid Survivors Saahas Foundation and has been helping 42 acid survivors rebuild their lives since then.

The foundation has reached out to many private hospitals across the city of Mumbai for free treatment for acid attack survivors. It provides them with food, medicines and also sponsors education for survivors and their kids.

Camera: Sanjoy Deb & Gautam Sharma
Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Producer: Divya Talwar

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