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Good Samaritans help an acid victim return home

KATHMANDU: Over a month after she was subjected to a brutal acid attack by her estranged husband, a 20-year old girl of Kalopul is finally back to her home after recovering from the grievous wound.
Jenny Khadka of Kalopul was attacked by her husband Bishnu Bhujel, 36, on May 15 over marital dispute. Bhujel, a mechanic, was arrested the same night.
Kamala Khadka, mother of Jenny, who has been raising her family alone after the death of her husband, had been facing difficulties to bear the costs of her daughter’s treatment.
Doctors involving in her treatment 10 days ago said that she could go home, said Kamala, adding that but as she failed to meet her rising medical expenses, she was unable to bring her daughter home.
After knowing that Kamala is having a difficult time to meet the discharge costs of Jenny, Minister for Women Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa reached the Kritipur Hospital on Friday and provided Rs.50, 000.
“After 45-day stay at the hospital, my daughter is back home. She feels good to be at home. I’m very grateful to Minister Thapa and other generous people who have supported my daughter for her treatment,” said Kamala.
Jenny suffered serious burns on her neck, chest and hands with about 10-15 per cent of her body parts burnt by the attack. She had undergone seven surgeries, said doctors involved in her treatment.
Kamala said the medical expense of the hospital alone was Rs. 300, 000. She had already paid Rs. 150,000 and remaining expenses were paid by the minister and other people.
Women Development Officer at the Ministry Anju Dhungana said Jenny was provided immediate relief under the gender-based violence elimination fund.
Jenny has already undergone seven operations, said Public Relations Officer of the hospital Taranidhi Bhurtel, adding that two of her operations were done free of cost.
The hospital has also provided 20 per cent discount on her daily charges, he added.
Prior to this, Kamala had a meeting with the Minister Thapa, with the help of women rights activists, to appeal to the minister for financial support to bring Jenny home from hospital.
There is a government provision to provide financial support to the victims of acid attacks.
In June 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to provide immediate financial support to cover treatment costs of the acid victims.
The order was made responding to a public interest litigation filed by Sangita Magar, an acid attack survivor of 2015.
Bhujel is now in the Metropolitan Police Circle, Kamal Pokhari, after the Kathmandu District Court, two weeks ago, extended his judicial custody until the final verdict.
As per the Criminal Code-2017, perpetrator of acid attack can be sentenced to up to eight years in jail and fined a maximum of Rs. 500,000 if the victim’s face was injured in an acid.
Likewise, if the victim’s other body parts were injured, the guilty can face three years’ jail sentence and a fine of Rs. 300,000.
According to Nepal Police, eight similar acid attack incidents were reported across the country in the past four year, three in the fiscal year 2014-15, two in 2015-16, one in 2016-17 and two in 2017-18.
While, four acid attacks, including Khadka’s, were reported across the country in the last fiscal year alone.

Published Date: Friday, June 28th, 2019 | 06:52 PM

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