5th March 2017

Sakshama - Program for the betterment of Acid Attack Survivors - March 2017

The Sanskrit word ‘Sakshama’ means ‘Powerful’ or ‘Competent’ in English. This feeling is something most acid attack survivors lose after their harrowing experience. Various interactions with these acid attack survivors showed that even more than the physical remnant or pain, the attack leaves behind a lifetime scar on all aspects of their life – Personal, Social, Economic and Emotional. With a view to empower them and share a sense of belonging with them, Divyaj Foundation in association with the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) embarked on a special awareness program ‘Sakshama’ on Sunday, 5th March 2017, at the National Sports Club of India – NSCI Dome, Mumbai. The event was organised with the objective of rehabilitation and welfare of the acid attack survivors of Maharashtra. At the event, Divyaj Foundation rechristened these brave survivors as ‘Victors’ – just as they are in every sense of the word.

The highlight of the event was the confidence walk wherein, dignitaries – impactful personalities from various spheres of life – walked along with the victors to re-instil their lost confidence and send across the social message of belonging. The event had the privileged presence of Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra as the Chief Guest. Mrs. Pankaj Munde, Hon. Minister for Women and Child Welfare and Rural Development was the Guest of Honour at the program. Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis, Banker, Singer and Social Worker, presided over the event on behalf of Divyaj Foundation and MSCW. Divyaj Foundation helped the victors with funds for immediate requirement and also helped them procure employment. The dignitaries who participated in the Confidence Walk included Mr. Ajoy Mehta – Municipal Commissioner – Mumbai, Hon. Mr. Dattatray Padsalgikar – Director General of Police of Maharashtra, Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis with daughter Divija Fadnavis, Mrs. Vijaya Rahatkar – Chairperson, MSCW, Mrs. Juhi Chawla, Mrs. Sonali Bendre, Mr. Vivek Oberoi, Ms. Kiara Advani, Mr. Mustafa Burmawala, Mr. Ahmed Khan, Mrs. Sakshi Tanwar, Ms. Sikha Sharma, Ms. Vandana Luthra and others. The program motivated individuals and other NGOs to step forward with aid for the victors. On a similar note, Mr. Vivek Oberoi made an announcement of donating an apartment for one of the victors he had partnered the confidence walk with. This was later fulfilled.

Divyaj Foundation 2018

This initiative by Divyaj Foundation turned out to be a big leap of hope into the lives of these survivors after which many were approached by various NGOs with assistance. Under the guidance of Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis, in May 2018, Divyaj Foundation further presented a Donation Cheque to Saahas Foundation, an initiative of these survivors, created with an effort towards their self-employment.