Acid attacks in India are all too common, and are often carried out because of a romantic or family dispute. Over 80 percent of the victims are women.. The perpetrators are often men who want to punish women for ending a relationship or spurning unwanted advances. Most attackers’ aim, experts say, is not to kill, but to maim and embarrass .Today we are going to share a story of a woman.The women are not victims, they are survivors. Acid is thrown on their faces but not on their dreams. The face alone cannot give you an identity but your dreams and desires to achieve your goals will and these survivors are living their dreams.A story of a survivor of acid attack is not only fighting for her dreams but also inspiring others to do so. Acid attack quite similar to the act of murder attacks the soul of the victim. A chance of living a normal life is also being snatched away from her. But she prove that time is changing & there is a hope for living a normal life for the acid attack victims are also increasing. Now people are accepting their condition and helping them to face the world with a new outlook.
Some of them are even becoming hope for others.She is one of them , A teen acid attack victim of India.We are talking about Laxmi Agarwal .She was born in New Delhi; at the age of 15, she was attacked by one of the friends of her own brother, Naeem Khan who was twice her age. He was attracted towards Laxmi and kept proposing her before attacking her. When she refused, this man along with two accomplices threw acid on her face in broad daylight. She was saved by an auto driver who took her to the Safdarjang Hospital. She had nine major operations to ameliorate the pain, and the last operation kept her on the ventilator for four long days. Even after all the agony, Laxmi is the lifesaver and hope for the acid attack survivors in the world. She thought she would look prettier than before. Laxmi recalled in an interview with Daily Mail, “I felt as if someone had set my whole body on fire. The skin was just coming off, it was like dripping, from my hands and from my face.There were no mirrors in the ward I was in. Every morning, the nurse would bring me a bowl of water to help me freshen up and I would try to catch my reflection in that water. I would only see glimpses of a bandaged face… When I first saw my face afterwards, I was devastated. I had no face to speak of,”
The horrific attack could not bring Laxmi down. In 2006, she filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court and sought a total ban on sale of acid. In 2013, the court ruled in favour of her plea, and imposed restrictions on the sale of acid. The same year, Laxmi also became a campaigner for Stop Acid Attacks, founded by Alok Dixit and Ashish Shukla .As Laxmi became the voice of acid attack survivors . Her petition was signed by over 27000 people, which forced the Indian Supreme Court to take an action against the public distribution and availability of acids. The Supreme Court of India had ordered a regulation against the unregulated sale of acids. The Union Home Ministry sent an advisory to all the states and Union Territories which clearly stated that no acid shall be sold to any person who is below 18 years of age and all sellers shall sell acid only after the buyer has shown an ID issued by the Government which also has the address of the person. Even then, the acid continues to remain quite easily accessible.Laxmi Agarwal is also the director of an NGO named ”Chhanv Foundation”, which helps the victims of the acid attacks. After getting a new life, Laxmi freshly started everything with a new outlook.
During work of this NGO Laxmi met with Alok dixit .They become friend and then they fall in love with each other. The couple decided not to get married and opted for a live-in relationship instead. According to them, they don’t need to get married to get the validation of society & they don’t want people to come to their wedding and comment on her looks,Soon after Laxmi and Alok’s daughter Pihu was born, the couple went their separate ways due to differences. According to every single woman of the world, she is one of the most beautiful woman alive, not because of her face but because of her extraordinary courage to present hope to others.But she was afraid about her child’s reaction to her disfigured face .still Laxmi was struggling to make ends meet and finding it difficult to find employment as well as housing.
In 2014, Laxmi Agarwal received a prestigious International Women of Courage Award presented by the Michelle Obama.
She was also elected as the women of the year by NDTV.
Her story with her own words……
Fest organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation in Jaipur recently, where she was also felicitated with the Women Achiever Award. Remembering every detail of the fateful day in 2005 that changed the course of her life, Laxmi began by singing the song, Naam Gum Jayega, Chehra Yeh Badal Jayega. Opening up about her childhood dream and the incident that changed it all, she said, “I have always wanted to be a singer – I still do. I was 15 years old when a 32-year-old man fell in love with me. I knew him before the attack and was. That man proposed marriage to me and I got scared. He had a cellphone at his house and when he called me, I told him that I am not interested and asked him to never call me. Ten months before the attack, that man started stalking and troubling me. Main kahin pe bhi jaati thi, woh wahaan aake mujhe thappad maar deta tha. Jo uske mann mein aata tha, woh mere saath karta tha.I couldn’t tell my parents about all these problems. If I would have told them about that man, they would have made me stay at home, not letting me go to the school and would have eventually got me married to someone.Because Girls are regarded as liabilities to the family and the male child is always welcomed. From the moment of a girl’s birth, her parents worry more about her dowry than education.Recalling the fateful day, she shared with the audience the details of the attack. “Just when I thought that everything would be fine, the next day at 10.45am, I saw that man with his younger brother’s girlfriend waiting near my house on a bike. They were carrying a beer bottle and glass. After the attack, I realised that the beer bottle contained acid. I was walking towards the bus stop and had no idea about their intentions that girl pushed me and I fell down. Then they threw acid at me. I lost consciousness when I regained consciousness after some time, but nobody came forward to help me. I felt as if someone had set my entire body on fire. Then, a man came forward, splashed water on my face and called the PCR. My skin was dripping from my hands and face. As soon as I reached the hospital, they poured 20 buckets of water on me. That’s when my journey started. Doctors told my parents that I won’t survive. But I had to survive to share my story with all of you,” Talking about the time she had come face to face with the attacker for the first time after the attack, Laxmi said, “There was no remorse on his face. And he had the audacity to tell the judge that he would still like to marry me. Maine judge ko kaha ki usne mera chehra badla hai, dil nahi,”.
Laxmi’s indomitable spirit has prompted Meghna Gulzar to make a biopic on her life in which Deepika Padukone is playing her role ,the flim titled Chhapak. This film will be a tight slap on that attacker who thought he has ruined Laxmi’s life and to the society who looked at her like a criminal .
Some few other example of survivors of acid attack victims….
Madhu Kashyap, 39, was at work at Sheroes’ Hangout, a cafe in this tourist city that is staffed by survivors of acid attacks. The cafe in Agra offers a place for these women to earn money and find acceptance.At Sheroes, survivors don’t cover their faces. They comfortably discuss the scariest moments of their lives and chat with customers from around the world. They wear makeup to accentuate their features. They laugh.
Anmol Rodriguez was just two months old when her father poured acid on her in an attempt to kill her. Anmol had to undergo several surgical procedures, and she lost an eye and her face became disfigured in the process. Despite a traumatic past, Anmol Rodriguez has done everything she could to make a better life for herself. She is now on a mission to help others like her. With an aim to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model she also founded an NGO called Acid Attack Survivor Sahas Foundation. Anmol is now a fashion icon, with her Instagram handle having over one lakh followers. But all this success and recognition did not happen overnight.
In mid-2006, Pragya Prasun had just graduated from the apparel management program at Pearl Academy and was newly married. She was traveling to New Delhi only 12 days after her wedding to attend an event on Pearl’s campus. What happened next was unimaginable. Prasun was the victim of an acid attack by a rejected suitor, a distant relative she barely knew.
Another 6 Heartwarming Stories Of Acid Attack Survivors Who Got Their Happily Ever After.