When Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy released her documentary, Saving Face in 2012, it brought with it a gargantuan amount of buzz, good and bad. However, it was the film’s fine slap-of-reality that helped change the perspectives of a nation blind towards violence against women. And on the forefront of it all was Dr. Muhammad Ali Jawad –a Pakistani cosmetic surgeon providing care to victims of acid attacks.
Today, after a journey of 5 years, Dr. Jawad has finally fulfilled his promise by founding an organization for the victims of acid attacks and the elderly, through the R5 Foundation, which aims to care for those left behind by the society.
Attended by celebrities and philanthropists, the R5 Foundation’s message towards regeneration and respite for the victims and elderly remained quite clear. However, it was Chinoy –who attended the event in support of Dr. Jawad – who summed up the need for such initiatives perfectly.
“You realize quite quickly how fortunate you are; and I say this because imagine, you wake up every single morning and you look at yourself in the mirror and the face that you see reminds you of that horrific attack. It is something that you can never run away from and you carry it with you day in and day out. But you learn to laugh, be with your children, and each day, you wait for the next surgery. This is where Dr. Jawad comes in. He comes in because he treats them with dignity and they confide in him while he reassures them that they’ll be better as he gives them hope. There is no price for hope,” Chinoy said.
With an aim to provide the best of recovery and rehabilitation, The R5 Foundation –which also runs the R5 Clinic that focuses on cosmetic surgeries – hopes to create a space that will be able to help victims through each of their step towards assimilation into the society.
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