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No job yet for acid victim

Bokaro, Feb. 3: Dhanbad acid attack victim Sonali Mukherjee (27) may have won Rs 25 lakh on Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on November 25 but Jharkhand is yet to honour its job promise that former chief minister Arjun Munda repeatedly made to her.

Much water has flowed down the bridge. Arjun Munda is no longer the chief minister and the state is under President’s Rule since January 18 with governor Syed Ahmed as the executive head.

Governments may come and go, but Ranchi bureaucracy won’t change.

If one goes by the office of Bokaro deputy commissioner (DC) Sunil Kumar — Sonali’s family shifted from Dhanbad to the adjoining industrial city after the acid attack — Ranchi bureaucrats are responsible for her endless wait for a government job.

When Munda promised Sonali a job in September, the Bokaro DC sent Sonali’s relevant documents to Ranchi twice in October and November, 2012. But Ranchi’s personnel department deputy secretary Punam Prabha Purty, in letter No. 3946 dated January 8, 2012, wrote to the Bokaro DC Sunil Kumar that they did not have certificates of Sonali’s educational qualifications.

Purty cited this as the reason why Sonali had not got a job offer.

When The Telegraph contacted Bokaro DC Kumar, he said his office had sent the document twice, one on its own and the second time on the request of the department.

“We sent all needed documents again. We are trying our best to see that Sonali gets a government job as quickly as possible, but fresh hurdles come up again and again. Let’s hope for the best for the courageous girl,” said the DC.

Sonali, just 17 when a spurned suitor and two friends poured acid on her face, was then an award-winning cadet of the NCC and had just joined college. The attack left the pretty girl with a disfigured face, loss of vision and deafness in one ear. Worse, the family battled with her medical costs, legal hassles and severe cash crunch virtually unaided for nine years till she pleaded for euthanasia.

The shocking plea jolted the media and help started pouring in from individuals and outfits, the most talked-about being KBC hosted by legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan.

Big B wrote on his Facebook page: “Much too disturbed by the event at KBC of doosra maukaa second chance for those that have been unfortunate victims of trauma and violence ... a young girl robbed of her entire body and youth by an acid attack on herher face destroyed, lost her eyes, lost her hearing, lost her voice for 4 years...22 reconstructive surgeries later, she can now speak and hear...”


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