Vidya is the second victim in the city to succumb to acid attack injuries. The family donated her corneas to Sankara Nethralaya

Vidya, the 21-year-old victim of an acid attack, died of injuries on Sunday at Government Kilpauk Hospital. The family donated her corneas to Sankara Nethralaya. Vidya is the second victim in the city to succumb to acid attack injuries in as many weeks. J. Vinodhini (23), a resident of Karaikal, had succumbed to wounds on February 13.

On January 30, Vidya was alone at an internet browsing centre on Tiruvalluvar Main Road in Adambakkam where she was working when S. Vijaya Bhaskar attacked her with a bottle of acid after she turned down his marriage proposal.

The accused, who was working as a catering staff in an IT company at Sholinganallur had hurled the bottle at her face, but she turned her face away. An enraged Vijaya Bhaskar pushed her down and she fell on the floor where the acid had spilled.

“As she writhed in pain, he tried to escape…but her screams attracted people from neighbouring shops. They beat him up and handed him over to the police,” her brother Vijay said.

Vidya’s father Jayaseelan died when she was seven years old.

Her mother Saraswathi is working as a domestic help. Vidya, who had been working at the centre for two years, was earning Rs. 4,000 a month and a major contributor to the family income.

As Vidya’s clothes were damaged a woman from a nearby house covered her with a sari before the victim was rushed to a private hospital and then to Government Kilpauk Hospital.

On Saturday, her condition worsened and doctors put her on ventilator. Her end came around 4.15 a.m. on Sunday, after battling for life for 25 days.

“Poor hospital hygiene”

Family members blamed the poor hospital hygiene for her death. “There is no intensive care unit. She was lying on a cot that was stained in her own pus. We had to buy a new bed sheet for her and sprayed perfume to prevent the stench,” her uncle Rajan alleged.

It was only around 11 a.m. that the post-mortem was done.

As news of her death spread, women groups gathered at the hospital’s mortuary.

The family refused to take possession of the body until government officials spoke to them.

“They have not responded to our appeal aired through media. In the case of the Delhi victim, the girl was taken to Singapore for treatment. Even in the case of Vinodhini, a Minister called on her. Nobody has come to our aid,” he said.

Finally, around 3.30 p.m., the family agreed to shift Vidya’s body to their home in Parameswari Nagar in Adambakkam. Kancheepuram Collector L. Sitherasenan visited the family later in the evening.