In a way, acid-attack is similar to the act of murder. In the murder, the killer normally kills the body of a fellow human, whereas, in an acid attack, the attacked kills the soul of the victim. He not only kills the beauty of the victim, he also kills her dreams, chance of a normal life, her aims and goals. As the world is changing, the hopes for a normal life are increasing for the Acid Attack victims, as they are accepting their condition and facing the world with a new outlook. Some of them are even becoming the hope for the others.
Laxmi Agarwal is a teen acid attack victim of India. Her petition, signed by over 27000 people, had forced the Indian Supreme Court to take an action against the public distribution and availability of acids. She is also the director of an NGO named Chhanv Foundation, which helps the victims of the acid attacks. In one word, Laxmi is not only the survival of the acid attack; she is also the hope of all acid attack victims in this new world.
The Early Story of Laxmi
Laxmi Agarwal was born and brought up in New Delhi. At the tender age of 15, she was attacked by one of the friends of his brother. The man named Naeem Khan was twice her age and kept on proposing her prior to the attack. As she had refused his advances and proposal, she was attacked by the man and his other two companions in the Tughlaq road. She was busy shopping near Khan Market while the accident had occurred. She was rescued by a taxi driver and was taken to the Safdarjang Hospital. She had nine major operations to reduce the pain of the burn. The last operation had sent her on ventilation for four long days. Yet, Laxmi had survived and become the hope of the all acid victims of the world.
Her Battle against the Society and the Acid Attacks
In the year 2013, Laxmi had raised a petition against the random sale of the acids which are leading to these attacks. The Supreme Court of India had ordered a regulation in the sale of the acids. Although the ban on selling the acids under-18 and the requirement of photo ID during the sale was the issue, Laxmi, and her fellow workers had discovered that acids were still distributed very easily. After that, they had initiated the ‘Shoot Acid’ campaign which was also regarding the sale of acids in the various districts.
The Personal Life of Laxmi and her Awards
During the Stop Acid Attacks’ Campaign, Laxmi had met and fallen for the journalist and social activist Alok Dixit. Alok and Laxmi had decided to spend their lives together. Due to social intervention, they didn’t opt to get married. According to them, they don’t need to get married to declare to the world that they wish to spend their lives together. The couple had a baby named Pihu. Laxmi and Alok both works together to help and support the acid attack victims from different parts of the country.
In the year 2014, Laxmi had received the prestigious International Women of Courage Award. The award was presented to her by the First lady of US, Michelle Obama. She was also elected as the women of the year by NDTV.
This brave and courageous woman was afraid during her pregnancy about her child’s reaction to her disfigured face. Yet, according to every woman of the modern world, she is one of the most beautiful woman alive, not because of her face, but because of the extraordinary courage to present hope to others.
Written By: Sanjay Kumar Patra