A mother of two has been left scarred and breathing through a tube after her husband chucked acid at her face.
26-year-old Zakira Ali Sheikh from Malwani, India took a part-time job producing soap to help provide for their children. She had learned soap making and had been selling products in local shops.
Her husband of eight years – 30-year-old Roobab – had refused to go to his job as an auto rickshaw driver, leaving former housewife Zakira to bring in money for food.
Enraged by his wife’s sudden independence, Roobab threw acid in her face as she lay sleeping beside their two young daughters, leaving her with 45 per cent burns.
Zakira has given the following terrifying account through her Ketto fundraising page, describing the events of November 3:
I was sleeping next to our two young daughters when I felt a sudden movement above me. Just as I opened my eyes, a warm liquid poured all over me.
I jumped to my feet and there stood Roobab, throwing more liquid at me. The first thing that hit me was the smell. This sour, pungent smell that has since not left the essence of my body.
The next was the sound, an animal like shrill screaming emerged from my mouth. I could barely recognize my voice. I was in pain, searing pain. My whole body was on fire and the pain was so deep, it felt cold.
My vision began to get blurry and I saw my two girls howling, tears pouring down their eyes as they tried to grab at me to calm me down. I screamed at them to get away, if they touched me, the acid would seep into their skin too.
Horrifyingly it is claimed Zakira’s children were also hurt during the attack. Zakira described how she fought to stay conscious, while screaming in agony. She also tried to reach for some water, but Roobab did not allow it.
After eleven excruciating minutes, Zakira’s older brother Qasim – who lived next door – broke down the door to the house, coming to her rescue.
Roobab had cruelly locked the doors of Qasim’s home from the outside to try to prevent him from coming to his sister’s aid.
Qasim then rushed the seriously injured Zakira to hospital.
One of Zakira’s eyes melted following the attack, and the other has not yet opened. Her neck is also severely burned.
A pipe has also been inserted through her throat, allowing her to breathe. She will now require surgical treatments costing Rs. 25 lakh (approx £2,900).
President of NGO Make Love Not Scars, Ria Sharma, who set up Zakira’s crowdfunding page, has stated:
Zakira is in a critical condition and we need to raise the funds at the earliest.
We hope people who sympathise with her will help.
Hey everyone, @MakeLuvNotScars and Zakira really need our help and kindness. Zakira was attacked with Acid and is in critical condition. She has children to raise and truly deserves our help.
Please donate whatever you can to save her – https://t.co/bpHSQMxxKg
— Amyra Dastur (@AmyraDastur93) November 16, 2017
My face is ruined, I am in constant pain and am struggling to survive. I want to die, but can not because then my children would be left orphaned.
Their father is a criminal and I am the only one who can care for them as a parent should.
— Makelove Notscars (@MakeLuvNotScars) November 15, 2017
So far, Zakira’s fundraising page has reached $16,610, with donations from 396 kind supporters.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.