“It burns burns burns

Disfigures and takes your identity away

You may survive it and be called a survivor

But will you ever be able to live again?

With the injustice of it all,

All you wanted was a choice.”

I cannot begin to comprehend what an acid attack survivor victim goes through. But here is the story of an inpirational one. Laxmi was attacked with acid when she was 15-years old by a 32-year old man whose advances she had declined. It took her almost 9 years to get out of the dark, but now she has proved that she will not be defined by what was done to her. Here are just a few of her accomplishments till date:

  1. The criminal who attacked her with acid came out on bail and got married within a month after the attack. However, she fought for justice and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his misdeed.
  2. Filed a Public interest litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court to stop the sale of acid freely to the public as well as make acid- attack prosecutions easier. This is passed by the Supreme court in 2013. However, sadly, implementation has not yet been effective.
  3. She is a Campaigner with Stop Acid Attacks. They have started a crowdfunded cafe, Sheroes Hangout to employ acid attack victims so that they can support themselves as well as make their dreams come true.
  4. Has walked the ramp at the London Fashion Show to raise awareness about Acid Attacks
  5. Was awarded 2014 International Women of Courage Award by Michelle Obama.
  6. News Express TV anchor
  7. TEDx talk speaker on Acid Attack survivors.

Currently, she is in a live-in-for-life relationship and a mother. Contrast my uncomprehending poem to hers which shows the strength of her spirit which says “We are not victims, we are fighters“. It was originally written in Hindi:

“You hold the acid that charred my dreams.
Your heart bore no love. It had the venom stored.
There was never any love in your eyes. They burn me with caustic glance.
I am sad that your corrosive name will always be part of my identity that I carry with this face.
Time will not come to my rescue. Every surgery will remind me of you.
You will hear and you will be told that the face you burned is the face I love now.
You will hear about me in the darkness of confinement. 
The time will be burdened for you. 
Then you will know that I am alive, free and thriving and living my dreams.”

Inspirational Indian Woman: Acid Attack Survivor Laxmi #AtoZChallenge

18 thoughts on “Inspirational Indian Woman: Acid Attack Survivor Laxmi #AtoZChallenge

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  • April 12, 2017 at 10:09 am
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    Kudos to her bravery. It’s shocking how easily these criminals get out on bail. Sometimes even their sentence is too short (I honestly feel 10 years is short too – he should’ve been put in for life)

    Reply
    • April 12, 2017 at 10:21 am
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      He should have definitely been put away for life, but according to current law the maximum sentence is 10 years. Its sad how she says that initially people shunned her because of her disfigurement, but he was accepted by society and could just go on with his life! But thankfully, now she has been able to pursue all her dreams and more:)

      Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 10:32 pm
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    This is the kind of person who is called a real life hero. The kind who should inspire women never to give up. Thanks for featuring her.

    Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 10:27 pm
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    Such a brave and inspirational heart.These are the real fighters and true model. Thanx for sharing such a beautiful story

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    *SimpleIndianMom*

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  • April 11, 2017 at 9:04 pm
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    These are the real role models for little girls and boys. Quietly transforming their lives, refusing to take the status-quo on face value and fighting so many monstrosities. I am going to tell my daughter her story.

    Reply
    • April 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm
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      That’s a wonderful idea Lalita. We do need to tell our kids about how to stand strong even in the face of dire adversity. Also, if you have to time do listen to one of her TED talks about how she overcame the idea that “A beautiful face” is so important to achieve something in life.

      Reply
    • April 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm
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      Yes. She and there are many more like her who are fighting against what happened to them, trying to make the world a little bit safer.

      Reply
  • April 11, 2017 at 5:31 pm
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    Her tale is horriffic and amazing at the same time. I had followed her story closely for a while on the news and am so happy to read she is a news anchor now- thanks for the share Namy! Women like her make me so proud to be one – I wish these monsters would be dipped in acid for their crimes and not be allowed to roam around free. Our judiciary and police make such a joke out of our travesty that he was free and could get married too!!!
    Thank god for Laxmi’s determination to see him behind bars!!!

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    • April 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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      What is disheartening is that even with awareness, laws to curb sales, the number of such incidents has not reduced much. Really good news will be when these attacks are completely prevented.

      Reply

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