New Delhi: Five acid attack victims and a transgender on Wednesday joined their jobs in the Delhi High Court, which, in a unique gesture, gave them employment after their plight was brought to the notice of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal.
A source close to Justice Mittal's office said this was a "path-breaking initiative" by the high court, which could be an example for other institutions in the country to follow.
Confirming the decision, a senior member of the high court administration said "this is the first of its kind when such a decision has been taken. All the six, who joined today, have been given clerical jobs as per their qualification."
The judicial officer, who did not wish to be named, said "we have taken this step, not only to give them a job, but to give value to these people".
He said the decision was taken after the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) sent a proposal earlier this month to explore job opportunities for these victims while highlighting their plight.
Pursuant to this, Justice Gita Mittal had interacted with the six persons before proceeding to offer them jobs at the High Court on contractual basis.
"All of them had faced discrimination and failed to get jobs due to their physical condition, which had prompted the DSLSA and the High Court to intervene," the official said.
All the six, while sharing the commonality of being outcasts in the society, told PTI that they were extremely happy with the high court's decision as they had approached various government bodies for jobs, but to no avail.
Narrating their woes, Babli (29), the transgender, said she was forced to leave her home due to her gender which was not acceptable even to her family members. "No one gave me a job because of my gender," she said.
Nasreen Jahan (38), who has passed 10th standard, has to look after her two daughters as a single parent as she is a divorcee. She was allegedly attacked by her erstwhile husband six months into their divorce.
Another acid attack victim Sapna (25), who recently passed her Class XII exam, was allegedly attacked by a relative who wanted to marry her even after she refused.
With a graduation degree in her hand, Kamar Jahan (27) is clearly the most qualified among the lot. Jahan got married in 2009, but her husband left her and remarried. She was allegedly attacked by her husband's second wife and her relatives.
24-year-old Shobha is the youngest among the group and she has passed the 10th standard. She calls herself lucky after having bagged the job in the high court.
Mamta (29), who has studied till class eight, too felt the same. She said normally acid attack survivors have to face discrimination when it came to getting a job.