18/01/2016 3:33 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Acid Attack Survivors To Open A Lounge-Spa In Uttar Pradesh

Acid attack survivor Neetu, sits in front of a wall displaying, according to them, items that sections of the Indian society put the blame on to justify rape, inside ‘Sheroes Hangout’ café, managed by five acid attack survivors under an initiative by Stop Acid Attacks and Channv Foundation, in Agra, India, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Neetu was three-years-old when she lost her eyesight during an acid attack by her father on her mother and the sleeping children. The ‘Pay as you Wish’ café is a crowd-funded project that started on Oct. 19. India passed a law last year severely limiting sales of acid, but Stop Acid Attacks said it has since counted at least 200 attacks. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

NEW DELHI -- A lounge-cum-spa is the next initiative by survivors of acid attack whose cafe 'Sheroes Hangout' in Agra established to rehabilitate themselves is now over a year old.

The upcoming spa-cum-lounge will also sport a cafe-lounge set up in the front with the customers getting a chance to avail facilities of salon and spa.

"We are in process of setting up a spa-cum-lounge which would have a cafe-cum lounge in the front along with the luxuries of spa and salon for the visitors," says Parth Sarthi, a member of the city based NGO Chaanv and also the Project Manager of Chaanv Foundation.

Sarthi says plans are afoot to set up cafes similar to that in Agra in cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Udaipur and even Delhi.

"Work is going on in parallel in four cities to start new branches of Sheroes Hangout. At the front, it will always be a cafe, but keeping the interest areas of the survivors we are planning to bring more branches with special facilities," says Parth.

The move comes in a bid to rehabilitate acid victim, Sonia Chowdhury, whose face was battered by a heinous acid attack in the year 2004.

Sonia Chowdhury, a resident of Ghaziabad was employed at a private salon when she was attacked with acid by her neighbour Anurag over a dispute.

Narrating her story, Sonia says after a shopkeeper refused to sell her a mobile phone since she did not have the required identity proof, a neighbour agreed to buy one for her.

She received a new cellphone from her neighbour Anurag after the payment only to discover some time later that it was a stolen property.

"After three-four days of buying the mobile, I got a call from an unknown number which happened to be from the police station. I was told that the cellphone that I was using was a stolen one. I panicked and gave complete details of Anurag who had got me the phone," says Sonia.

Anurag was arrested after Sonia divulged details about him.

"A day after he was released from jail, he came to my place and demanded apology for the insult he had to face due to his arrest to which I refused. He also took up fight with my father and later one day he threw acid on me with while I was returning back from work," she says.

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