The incident took place in village Saffadirpur in district Hardoi when the family of the baby girl named Bitta, had an altercation over landed property with their neighbours.
Bitta's father Vijay Kumar lives with his four brothers in Saffadirpur. The family did not get along with their neighbours Sanjay, Ravindra, Nanhe and Anand who were in the habit of instigating trouble. To harass and trouble Vijay Kumar's family on a number of occasions, bottles had been flung by the four accused at the child when she was left sleeping on the bed of the verandah of Vijay Kumar's home.
On 5 February 2009, the four men scaled the wall while the parents were not near the child and poured acid on the baby's face. Causing serious damage to her eyes, face, chest and completely disfiguring the four month old girl.
In the meantime the culprits are still dodging the law and continue to freely roam in the village in Hardoi district. They have also threatened to harm the other girl children in Vijay Kumar's house in Hardoi as they did to baby Bitta.
The case was referred to Saaksham Foundation when the child was brought to Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU) Plastic Surgery Department where the child underwent her first operation on 17 April 2009.
As per the investigation of the case and discussions with the Head of the Department (HOD) Plastic Surgery, Dr AK Singh, the child will require continuous surgeries till she is 15 years old to make her condition manageable, which will require huge financial resources which the family is unable to afford.
As per the Article 6(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has been defined clearly that: State parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
It also says in Article 16(1) of the convention that: No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home, correspondence nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour or reputation.
Article 16(2) of the convention further says: The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
But above all, Article 39 of the convention says, state parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social re-integration of a child victim of any form of neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture or any form of cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or armed conflict. Such recovery shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self respect and the dignity of the child.
Even the Constitution of India clearly states as per Article 39, Directive Principles of State Policy: ... that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in condition of freedom and dignity and childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against, moral and material abandonment...
As of now Baby Bitta has been denied all of the above. And she is fighting for life at the Department of plastic surgery at CSMMU. She needs our help and protection and it's our moral responsibility to stand up and fight for the rights of this innocent child.
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