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Brave acid attack survivor blinded when she rejected marriage proposal aged 15 finds love with man she met in hospital

Pramodini Roul, now 25, was just a teenager when a spurned admirer hurled acid on her face, melting it away completely and blinding her in both eyes

Brave acid attack survivor blinded when she rejected marriage proposal aged 15 finds love with man she met in hospital
Pramodini Roul, known as "Rani", is pictured with the love of her life, Saroj Kumar Sahoo (Image: Caters)

A brave woman who was blinded in a horrific acid attack aged just 15 after rejecting a marriage proposal has found the love of her life in a touching way.

Pramodini Roul was only a teenagers when a paramilitary soldier on a bike allegedly hurled acid on her face, melting it away completely and blinding her in both eyes.

A 10th grade student at the time, she says she was returning from taking an exam with her cousin when the 28-year-old doused her with the corrosive element.

He reportedly attacked her because she had turned down his marriage proposal.

Pramodini, from India, spent four months in ICU after suffering severe burns to her face, as well as lost vision, in the attack around a decade ago.

But now, she has found true love - from her hospital bed.

Rani was only 15 when a paramilitary soldier on a bike allegedly hurled acid on her face (Image: Caters)

The 25-year-old, known as "Rani", says her boyfriend, Saroj Kumar Sahoo, treats her "like a queen" and always encourages her to "live life happily".

The pair met while she was in hospital three years ago - and have been living together for a year in New Delhi. They are now planning to tie the knot.

Rani had been bedridden for four years at her house in Odisha, eastern India, in the wake of the acid attack, with her widowed mum caring for her alone.

Since the incident, she has suffered years of pain and undergone five reconstructive surgeries, including one to correct vision in her left eye by some degree.

She has also experienced depression.

But now, she says she has finally found a reason to live happily - Saroj.

"Saroj really treats me like a queen," said Rani. "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. I feel very lucky to have him. He is very understanding and is always there for me."

She said of Saroj: "I would not have been able to see the world today if I did not have him in my life" (Image: Caters)

She added: "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 treatment for a pus-filled infection that had ravaged her legs.

The skin from her legs was used for grafting.

However, untimely discharge from the hospital reportedly caused infection in her 'half-treated' wounds that began secreting puss.

Doctors told her mum that Rani would need at least four years before she could walk again, causing the widow to break down in tears.

Saroj was a friend of the nurse looking after Rani. He was on a regular visit when he saw Rani's mother crying helplessly and extended his support.

Rani recalled: "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 seen me.

"However, after around 15 days he started to speak to me.

"He would often visit the hospital.

Rani says she was returning from taking an exam when the man doused her with the corrosive element (Image: Caters)

"I believe he saw my mother and observed her and then slowly started extending helping hands. She would always come alone for my physio therapy.

"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 [could] not even move without help, let alone stand on my feet.

"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 walking."

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.

"I had already lost my eyesight and the thought of being bedridden was an added woe. But Saroj did not lose hope.

The young woman met her boyfriend from her hospital bed (Image: Caters)

"He would encourage me every day, motivating me to be positive and have hopes.

"He even quit his job to meet me every day. From 8 to 12 in the morning and 4 to 8 in the evening, he was there with me. It had become a routine."

She continued: "Just as medication was required for the physical recovery I needed dire support and encouragement at the mental level.

"Gradually, 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 my feet."

Rani had not been able to see Saroj until this September when she underwent the first surgery in left eye. Yet she says she had already fallen for his charms.

As their friendship got deeper and stronger, the two expressed their feelings for each other. However, 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," Rani said.

"I 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.

"I 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," she added.

The couple have been living together for a year in New Delhi and are now planning to tie the knot (Image: Caters)

While Rani and Saroj have been accepted by their families, the two are waiting for further reconstructive surgeries before they take the plunge and wed.

Rani's neck has started bending as the skin in her backbone completely melted following the attack.

She also still needs further surgeries on her eyes as she is only able to see a little.

And she requires 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, and Rani's mum has reportedly exhausted all of her savings on previous surgeries.

Rani works with Chhanv Foundation, a support care for acid attack survivors that helps in arranging funds for their surgeries and rehabilitation.

"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," said the young woman.

"My 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 addressed soon.

"I also want to do something in life, look after my sisters and then settle down with Saroj."

Rani claims the man who attacked her was not arrested in the wake of the incident, even though she allegedly "detailed" his identity to police.

"I am still waiting for the day when the attacker would be arrested and put behind the bars," said the survivor.

She added: "I also 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 eyewitness, but there was no one to take him to the court. Because of all this, the case was dismissed in the year 2012."

Topic: #attack
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HOT COMMENTS

Lolo

Salute to you man...hats offf really...May god bless you both brother.....and that man who ruin her life he will suffer the same ..dnt worry...

8 Months ago

83
Raphael

bro ,,,,, plz take care of her ,,,, God bless you both

8 Months ago

70
Matsya

Saroj.... thank u from d depth of our hearts. God vl surely reward you with this.

8 Months ago

45
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