Haseena is 29 years old. Her lilting voice on the phone is interspersed with giggles as she tells us that she loves talking on her cell phone, since she doesn’t step out of the house often. She is a victim of acid attack – blind and disfigured.
It happened 10 years ago, and 35 surgeries later she says, “I have still not recovered.” There is no trace of bitterness as she optimistically adds, “Life seems like a question mark right now, but I am sure something will come up.”
She came to Enable India “ten years too late” (in her own words), but is so happy to have found a place where there is spontaneous friendship. She had to discontinue her mobility training as she developed severe eye infection and had to go to Hyderabad for yet another surgery. Even when her training was interrupted due to her infection, she took home some CDs and is learning English through them.
“I am better now, and am looking forward to going back to Enable India to join the computer training and learn about the new technologies for the visually impaired. Besides I just love being there as it is fun and am constantly learning something.”
Haseena was an independent working girl at 19 years of age when tragedy struck. The shock and trauma of such a heinous act has left only physical scars. She says, “I cry only when there is too much physical pain, I don’t cry for emotional pain.”
Though the incident took its toll in her personal life, as she was abandoned and ostracized by friends and relatives, she says that many new people came into her life to love and support her when they saw how she was battling for life. People from across the country called her, and 10 years later many remain good friends. It is this human spirit that gives Haseena hope and courage.
For Haseena, there is a new tomorrow everyday as she believes “there is a lot of love” in the world. She believes in the world she lives in, and more important, she believes in herself!
– Anju Khemani