Sangita Magar’s completely swollen and partially disfigured face showed all the agony she has been going through.
Whenever she tried to speak, her swollen lips would prevent her from doing so. Tears would then roll down to her hospital bedsheet. Her mother Chameli Magar keeps wiping her itchy, sticky eyes but this brings no respite from her suffering. She just lay straight and helpless on the bed, closing her watery eyes.
Sangita is just 16 and dreams of nothing else but scoring good grades in the upcoming School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams. Her dream now seems elusive. She is the victim of an acid attack that took place at Basantapur, Sunday morning. She has sustained serious injuries to the abdomen, chest, right hand and leg.
She, along with two friends, came under acid attack while attending supplementary tuition near her rented rooms at Bansantapur. A masked man had stormed into the room to carry out the attack
“Our teacher was absent, so I was helping my friend Seema with accounting. Suddenly a man with a black cap came in at around 6 a.m. and threw a bottle of acid at us,” said Sangita. Her friend Hebu, who escaped injury in the attack, rushed her home.
Sangita’s father Prem Bahadur Magar said that he poured cold water on her head as she was hurting badly and rushed her to Bir Hospital. As the case was serious, she was referred to Kathmandu Model Hospital. “As far as we know, our daughter is not in any relationship with anyone. She is a very quiet and homely person,” informed her father. Throwing of acid at women and girls is quite rare in Kathmandu, unlike in the Tarai districts and across the border.
The way Sangita and her friends were attacked in broad daylight in the capital reflects the grim situation of women and girls in the country. Sangita has been living with her family in rented quarters at Basantapur for over seven years and does not hesitate to call it her home, a place where she feels safe and cozy. However, what happened on Sunday in the ‘hometown she admires’ is her worst nightmare come true Sangita is in shock. But remarkably, the horrible incident has not deflected her from her aim of excelling in the SLC exams that start from 19 March. “Even after the acid attack she has been repeating that she wants to appear the SLC and study science later on,” said her mother in a tearful voice.