**Bhubaneswar: ** In view of the increasing cases of acid attacks on women and girls in the state, a mini-marathon titled ‘Stop-A-Thon’ will be organised at the Kalinga Stadium on May 27. Promoting public awareness against acid attacks and regulations on the open buying and selling of acid will form the crux of the event.
The four-kilometre-long mini-marathon is being organised by Institute of Social Development, A New Hope and Siroj Hang Outer, in association with Odisha Police, CISF and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). The event will create public awareness about rising incidents of acid attack and their impact on the survivors’ lives, besides raising funds through donations from participants.
The mini-marathon would promote awareness regarding measures that need to be adopted in order to uproot the evil of acid attack from the society. Besides, it also aims to motivate acid attack victims and bring them to the forefront, by instilling in them faith, hope and confidence for leading a normal life.
Over the years, the alarming increase in the number of acid attacks in the state have made awareness and precautions utmost necessary. Especially for women and girls who are victimised by such attacks and start living life in a cocoon, forever bogged down with shame, guilt and social stigma.
As per reports, in the last 18 years, more than 59 women in the state have been victims of acid attacks, with 13 cases registered in the year 2016. These figures not only suggest an increasing trend of such crimes but are serious concerns.
To put a break on this heinous and inhuman crime, the Odisha Chapter of ‘Stop-A-Thon’ would be inaugurated on May 28. The programme would also see in attendance Marine Commando and Surya Chakra Awardee Prabin Tiyotiya.
Narrating her ordeals, acid attack survivor and social activist Promodini Rout said, “We are organising this marathon to promote awareness regarding acid attacks. Survivors from all over Odisha as well as outside would share their ordeal. The event will also be attended by members of various institutions and social groups.”
“In the programme, acid attack victims will be counselled on ways through which they will be able to let go the social stigma and guilt associated with themselves and lead a normal, dignified life. We will also help them get justice and other benefits like employment which would help them in starting life afresh,” she added.
Subhashree Das, Director of Institute of Social Development said that the 2-hour programme will be attended by as many as 2000 boys and girls who will be participating in the event to show their solidarity with the acid attack survivors. This event is a platform where acid attack survivors will be reassured that they are very much a part of our society and that we always stand behind them as a source of unflinching support.
She further informed that to make this event a success, various institutions and women welfare organisations, like Kanya Anmol, Dhanim Foundation, S&P Akshara, Happites, Easter E Teen, VSX, We For You, Sahara, Odisha Dance Community, Cancer Foundation, Odisha Science and KIIT will be taking part in the mini-marathon.
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