A girls face is her fortune, so they say. This lovely fresh faced teen suffered the most terrible fate imaginable. Driven by jealousy and hatred, thugs planned a horrific act of revenge that would change their victim’s life forever.
Student Sonali Mukherjee, was bright, beautiful and successful. At 17 she was elected President of her University Student Union and was studying for a PhD in Sociology. Her future ahead looked sunny and she was full of hope for the future.
Then, the unimaginable happened—everything she had worked towards, was destroyed in a matter of minutes.
One night, while Sonali was alone at home, sleeping, she was attacked. Three men had broken in. Miss Mukherjee recognized them as the men who often harassed her on her way to school. She had rejected their advances. A complaint was made to the parents of the boys and to the school. While she was fighting them off, she suddenly felt as though a bucket of fire had been thrown onto her face, “there was a horrible burning feeling,” Sonali said. Sonali said she could no longer see, then, she could no longer hear. The pain so was so intense that she became unconscious. Sonali was a victim of an acid attack, also called a vitriol attack.
When Sonali regained consciousness, she was in hospital. The doctors were at a loss at first. She had no skin on her face. She had no ears, or eyelids. The challenge was to reconstruct her face, and try and give her a new face.
Sonali could not see, or move, or eat. She had been the victim of an acid attack.
For months Sonali suffered the most agonising pain. It was a like a night terror from which she could not escape.
Over a period of 10 years, Sonali would undergo 27 facial reconstructive surgeries. Her father lost everything, even selling the family home to pay legal fees to have the criminals brought to justice. The money was also needed to pay for the cost of his daughter’s surgeries.
The criminals who committed the atrocities were sentenced to 9 years and got off after serving 2 years of their prison sentence. It was so shocking to Sonali that she appealed the decision.