Thursday, 20. June 2013 - 14:06
15. 08. 12. - 13:00
The victim of an horrific acid attack that left her blind and disfigured has been given an astonishing donation of 2.25 million GBP for re-constructive surgery to rebuild her face.
Sonali Mukherjee has been told that a syndicate of wealthy tycoons, celebrities and actors have sent the funds to the the B L Kapoor Hospital in New Delhi where she is expected to begin her treatment later this month.
India was shocked into action by heartbreaking before and after pictures of 26-year-old Sonali, who bravely posed for pictures showing her injuries to publicise her plight.
Intruders - accused of sexually abusing her for years - broke into her home in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, in 2003 and poured the acid over her face while she was sleeping.
The attack left the pretty young student facially disfigured, deaf and partially blind.
But tomorrow (Aug 14) Sonali will meet with her surgeon Sanjeev Bagai to start planning her re-constructive surgery, confirmed Indian TV executive, Anu Ranjan, who organised the VIP appeal.
Ranjan - president of the Indian Television Academy - gathered millions of Rupees from Gitanjali Jewels, actor Juhi Chawla and Bollywood producer Ramesh Taurani apart from her actor husband Shashi Ranjan.
"Sonali will be admitted to hospital on August 14 and after a few days of pre-operative care, her first surgical procedure will start on August 19," she said.
One of the donors, jeweller Mehul Choksi, said: "When Anu informed us about Sonali's plight, I was horrified to see that even in this modern age, women continue to be subjected to such violence. I felt this was a fit case to contribute to."
Describing the attack, Sonali said: "I woke up feeling strange. Within a few seconds it felt like my whole body was on fire. I kept screaming in pain till I passed out."
Although a series of 22 operations has left her family virtually bankrupt, Sonali has not received a single Rupee in aide from government officials.
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