Rahul was preparing diligently for his Class 10 Board examination last year. His father Vinod Giri had dedicated himself to religious service, doing Jagran (nightlong vigil, song and dance) in temples, while his mother is a housewife.
Staying in a single-room accommodation with his parents in Delhi’s Shiv Vihar Phase-6, Rahul had invested much of his time and energy into his studies.
Delhi at that time was in the grip of deadly riots over the Citizenship Amendment Act. Rahul had gone to buy stationery for the Board examination. It was the first big examination of his life and he was both nervous and excited. However, little did he imagine the fate that was awaiting him on the streets that day.
The hapless teenager unknowingly veered right into the midst of the riot. A bloodthirsty mob threw an acid-like liquid on Rahul. His face immediately started burning. He touched his face and his hands started to burn too.
Some kind-hearted people from the neighbourhood called up Rahul’s father and informed him about the incident. They also took Rahul, who was writhing in pain, home. Rahul’s skin had started to turn red. He rushed under running tap water, but the pain did not subside.
By this time, the pain had become so excruciating, that Rahul was crying uncontrollably. Rahul’s father rushed home, and his mother applied a mixture of oil and camphor over the burnt patches of skin. The next day, Rahul was taken to a local doctor.
We came across Rahul and his family and got to know about their ordeal during our rehabilitation drive following the Delhi riots. We found Rahul’s family in a precarious condition and immediately arranged for funds. We met similar other families that had lost everything in the riots and were scarred physically, materially and mentally.
Rahul’s father says that the trauma of the attack has not diminished his passion for studies and he is getting ready for his Class 12 examination this year (2021). However, he still shudders to visit the stationery shop, where he used to go regularly before the attack last year.
Every day, in the course of our work among the downtrodden and victimised sections of society, we come across many people like Rahul, who have been living in fear and pain. Consider supporting us so that we can help bring smiles back to their lips.