How To Take a Life
Better Photography|July 2021
Through his stark imagery, Ravi Choudhary portrays the physical and psychological scars that acid attacks survivors are haunted by.
Ravi Choudhary, Aditya Nair

Sonia was gifted a phone by her neighbour. When it came to light that the phone was stolen, she told the police and directed them to her neighbour. Humiliated by his arrest, he took revenge by throwing acid on her.

Ravi Choudhary is a photojournalist with the New Indian Express. A self-taught visual artist and an agricultural student from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, he is a fellow with the National Foundation for India, which has funded this series.

One of the most common utterances that follows these women around are the words, “How can you come out like this, you are scaring the children. Please cover yourself up.” It is incredible how poorly survivors are treated by the most people. It gets a lot worse. For many victims, the societies they live in believe that there must be some fault of the girl for such an incident to have occurred.

“What a weapon. For Rs. 20, it is cheaper than a knife or a bullet and it destroyed me,” says Sonia.

The truth is, however, that these crimes are often fueled by feelings of jealousy and rejection. Nothing can possibly prepare someone for the aftermath of such a horrendous crime—unimaginable, constant pain, numerous surgeries at great financial cost, and being shunned by those closest to you.

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