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Acid Attack Victim Fronts Fashion Campaign

Acid Attack Victim Fronts Fashion Campaign

Laxmi, who goes by her first name, was attacked by a scorned suitor, more than twice her age, when she was just 15.

The attack, which took place in broad daylight in one of Delhi’s busiest markets, left her with extensive burns to her face and body.

Acid Attack Victim Face Of Fashion Brand 1

Now 26, Laxmi has become an advocate for women affected by acid attacks, and is also modelling for Indian clothing label Viva N Diva for their Face of Courage campaign.

“This opportunity to represent an apparel brand was a platform for me to set an example for women like me to be confident and have courage despite their physical appearances,” the part-time TV host tells the BBC.

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“I began showing my face gradually. Then other survivors saw that if I could do it, why couldn’t they?”

Laxmi says she also wanted to send a clear message to criminals – there are approximately 1000 acid attacks in India every year.

“Women will not lose courage even after they are attacked with acid to destroy their physical beauty.”

“People victimise acid attack survivors, but I think we need to come out of this mindset.”

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One of India’s most outspoken advocates against the unregulated sale of acid, Laxmi also campaigns for harsher punishments for acid attackers.

She’s also kept busy managing her non-profit organisations Chbanv Foundation and Stop Acid Attacks, which works on rehabilitating and counselling survivors.

Viva N Diva’s co-founder, Rupesh Jhawar, says the idea to cast Laxmi in the current campaign came after he saw a calendar featuring acid attack survivors.

“To my eyes that are used to seeing fashion models with flawless skin dolled up in front of the cameras everyday, this view was both disturbing and inspiring,” he tells the BBC.

“For a moment I had seen beauty in a very different way and we wanted to capture it – remove any speck of being a victim from those eyes and give them a stage, an employment, a platform, a medium to flaunt it with style.”

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After giving up on the chance of finding her soulmate, Laxmi is also happy to report she’s finally found true love.

She met fellow activist Alok Dixit, 27, above, while protesting against the acid attacks in India and says his support has helped turn her life around.

Written by TheCarousel

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