Meghna Gulzar's directorial venture 'Chhapaak' opened to positive reviews and steady flow at the box office. As per reports, people find it difficult to purchase a ticket in Mumbai and Pune due to the immense popularity, despite the ongoing protests against the film by right-wing.
'Chhapaak' is about acid attack survivor Malti's fight for justice and rebuilding of her life. Deepika Padukone essays the lead role in the film which is also her first production venture.
The movie is based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, who was attacked with acid by a man twice her age for turning down his marriage proposal.
Laxmi Agarwal then dedicated her life and energy to fight against the sale of acid with 'Stop Acid Sale' campaign and filed a case to ensure that acid is not easily available.
'Chhapaak' is made tax free in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Congress leader Sanjay Dutt appealed to the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) to make 'Chhapaak' tax-free in the state.
Acid attack survivor Kunti Soni said that the film inspires survivors like herself to live instead of struggling. She also slammed the politics that continue to voice against the film. Right-wing section protested against the film since lead actress Deepika Padukone visited Jawaharlal Nehru University after the mob violence.
Soni said that the protestors will never understand the pain endured by an acid attack survivor.
Laxmi Agarwal herself lauded Deepika and Meghna for making a film that will change people's mindset.
After the release of 'Chhapaak', Uttarakhand government started a pension scheme for acid attack survivors to help them rebuild their lives. Meghna Gulzar acknowledged this move by the state on her social media pages.
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Similarly, data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed that West Bengal witnessed the highest number of acid attacks in the country. Countries that witness a high number of acid attacks include the United Kingdom, the United States, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Majority of the victims are women, especially at the receiving end of gender-based crimes. Women who face acid attacks have either rejected marriage proposals or relationships.
Acid is also used by political and religious fundamentalists to attack their opponents.