An Indian woman who suffered horrific burns to her face and lost her
vision when she was doused in acid by a scorned admirer has revealed how
she found the love of her life while recovering in her hospital bed.
Pramodini Roul, was just 15 years old when a bike-borne paramilitary
soldier threw acid on her face because she had rejected his marriage
proposal, in an attack that left her with life-altering facial burns and
blind in both eyes.
The survivor, now 25, who is lovingly called Rani – or queen – by her
family, was a 10th grade student then and was returning home from taking
an exam with her cousin when the 28-year-old man threw the corrosive
liquid into her face.
In the years since, Rani has been in and out of hospital for various
surgeries as well as treatment for the health problems that have plagued
her as a result of her ordeal – including a stint in 2014 to address an
infection in her legs.
It was then Rani met Saroj Kumar Sahoo, who was a friend of her nurse – and now the couple plan to wed.
Rani spent four months in ICU immediately after the incident, and later
spent four years bedridden at her house in Odisha in eastern India while
her widowed mother took care of her alone, bandaging her wounds.
After suffering pain for almost a decade, undergoing five reconstructive
surgeries including one to restore a degree of vision in her left eye,
and battling with depression, Rani says she has finally found a reason
to live again – her boyfriend Saroj Kumar Sahoo.
The two met while Rani was in hospital and have been living together for
a year in New Delhi – and are now planning to get married.
Rani says: ‘Saroj really treats me like a queen. He loves me like the way I am. He always encourages me to live life happily.
‘He has become a part of me. I would not have been able to see the world today if I did not have him in my life.
feel very lucky to have him. He is very understanding and is always
there for me. It always feels good to be loved and be assured of having a
partner who loves and recognizes the goodness in you.’
Rani and Saroj met in March 2014 at a private hospital where she was
admitted for the treatment for the pus-filled infection that had ravaged
Saroj was a friend of the nurse who was looking after Rani and was on a
regular visit when he saw Rani’s mother crying helplessly and extended
‘We met in March 2014 when he had come with his friends to visit the
hospital. Initially we didn’t speak to each other, even though he had
‘However, after around 15 days he started to speak to me. He would often visit the hospital.
believe he saw my mother and observed her and then slowly started
extending helping hands. She would always come alone for my physio
‘One day he heard my mother ask about my improvement and how
long would it take for me to recover as my lower body had by then
deteriorated. I was not even move without help, let alone stand on my
‘The reply wasn’t very positive as the doctors said that it
would take at least four years for me to be able to walk. My mother
naturally broke down when she heard that. That is when Saroj consoled
her and assured her that he would do everything possible to get me
The 26-year-old started visiting Rani everyday to boost her morale. He
eventually quit his job and spent eight hours a day to look after Rani.
She said: ‘He was extremely caring and looked after my needs. He would
talk to me for hours and motivate me. It was a tough time for me when
doctors had told me I would not be able to walk for four years.
had already lost my eyesight and the thought of being bedridden was an
added woe. But Saroj did not lose hope. He would encourage me everyday,
motivating me to be positive and have hopes.
‘He even quit his job to
meet me everyday. From 8 to 12am in the morning and 4 to 8pm in the
evening, he was there with me. It had become a routine.
‘Just as medication was required for the physical recovery I needed dire support and encouragement at the mental level.
the wounds started healing and with treatment and exercise and with his
help and support I regained my confidence and now I am standing back on
Rani had not seen Saroj until this September when she had undergone the
first surgery in left eye. Yet she says she had fallen for his charms.
As their friendship got deeper and stronger, the two expressed their
feelings for each other but Rani was initially sceptical of being in a
relationship as she felt she was not ready for it.
‘It was 14th January 2016, we were in Agra where we he wept and expressed his feelings for me.
too had fallen for him loved him and I did tell him that. But I also
knew that loving is different from entering into a relationship.
was not fit enough to look after myself, how could I keep others happy.
So I didn’t really agree then. But it was he who kept encouraging me, by
telling me not to think too much.
‘He assured me that there will
come a day when I will not just be able to see the world and work but
will also be able to make others happy. He always had my confidence,’
While Rani and Saroj have been accepted by their families, the two are
waiting to get further reconstructive surgeries before they take the
Rani’s neck has started bending as the skin in her backbone had
completely melted. She still further surges for her eyes as she is only
able to see a little and needs plastic surgeries on her head as a major
portion of skin is missing.
Recalling the day she had seen herself first time after the attack, Rani said:
‘I felt scared of myself.
‘I had not seen myself from the day of the
attack to the day I went blind. I only saw myself in the mirror after
my eye surgery in September this year.
‘I did have some idea of what
the tragedy had done to me but when I saw myself I felt extremely hurt. I
was so scared of myself that I cried the whole night.
‘I am hoping to get further surgeries as soon as possible. Doctors say I need at least four more surgeries.’
The surgeries are extremely expensive. Rani’s mother has exhausted all
her savings in the previous surgeries but have no resources to foot in
the further operations.
Rani works with Chhanv Foundation, a support care for acid attack
survivors that helps in arranging funds for their surgeries and
‘I am happy that I am able to restart my life again but it would be
wonderful if I can get all the reconstructive surgeries soon.
mother could not arrange money for my treatment and we had to stop it
midway. The delay has caused several complications and need to be
‘I also want to do something in life, look after my sisters and then settle down with Saroj.’
Rani says her alleged attacker has not been arrested.
She said: ‘I am still waiting for the day when the attacker would be arrested and put behind the bars.
filed a case against the man and had also received summons from the
court asking for the submission of evidences. But because I was bed
ridden and my mother was left alone nothing much could be done. My
younger cousin was an eye witness, but there was no one to take him to
‘Because of all this the case was dismissed in the year 2012.’
Culled from Daily Mail