Acid attack survivor receives compensation under state social security scheme
Principal District and Session judge of Dhanbad Basant Kumar Goswami handed over a cheque of Rs 6.5 lakh to acid attack victim Sonali Mukherjee on Friday under a social security scheme of the government as per directives of Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority (JHALSA).
Speaking at the function, held during a legal service cum empowerment camp organised at the District Legal Services Authority office here, Goswami said, “Though, the trauma and suffering of the Sonali Mukherjee can’t be mitigated by any compensation, the monetary compensation can at least help her manage livelihood expenses.”
The judge added that Sonali was earlier provided with a compensation of Rs.1.5 lakh, but since the amount has increased under the lastest social security scheme, she received the additional compensation.
Legal awareness programmes are being carried out over the past month to appraise people about the different social security schemes, as per the directives of the authority, Goswami said.
Sonali was a college student when she went through the acid attack for refusing to marry one Tapas Mitra, in 2003. Mitra and his friends, Sanjay Paswan and Bramhadev Hazra, on the night of April 22 that year, poured sulphuric acid on Sonali’s face while she was sleeping, damaging her face and vision.
Sonali got media attention in 2012 when she met the state women’s commission chairperson, seeking financial support.
She subsequently rose to fame later that year after appearing on national television in popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, hosted by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. After that, several organisations came out in her support and helped her go through a series of surgeries at a New Delhi hospital.
The state government, too, later provided her with a clerical job.
Apart from handing out the cheque to Sonali on Friday, Goswami provided wheel chairs to two physically challenged persons of Nirsa -- Hashiyar Khatoon and Sheikh Hasiuddin. They also received cheques of Rs 40,000 each under the PM Awas Yojana.