Acid Attack Victims- The Face of Courage

1. Reshma Qureshi-make love not scars

Reshma Qureshi Reshma Qureshi is an Indian model, and anti-acid activist. In India, she is the face of Make Love Not Scars. She became a known personality by stepping into modeling in the US when she walked the catwalk for Archana Kochhar at the 2016 New York Fashion Week.

 

Acid attack victim before and after

Reshma Qureshi before and after acid attack

Reshma is the youngest daughter of a taxi driver from Mumbai, India who studied commerce at school.

On 19 May 2014, at the age of 17, Qureshi was attacked with acid by her brother-in-law and two other assailants when she was traveling to the city of Allahabad for an exam. The attack was actually aimed at her sister Gulshan, but Qureshi was mistaken for her. The two other assailants were never caught after the attack but her brother-in-law was arrested. After the attack, she felt suicidal for a short period of time as she was left scarred on her face and arms and lost one of her eyes completely.

After a year of physical and emotional turmoil, Reshma joined Make Love Not Scars, an NGO that works for acid attack victims in India.

In an interview, Qureshi stated-

“I haven’t spoken to the attacker or his family as such, but I met him two months back in court. I instinctively wanted to rip his throat out, to be honest… When he saw me, he told his lawyer and people, “She has become so big and a model, she is in a good place, so please release me or help me out.

Reshma Qureshi in New York city ramp walkReshma made it to the headlines by featuring in a viral video that focused on the fact that acid was as easily available as lipstick in India.

Acid attack survivors modelReshma Qureshi in mysore ramp walk

In a display of her quiet defiance as a survivor, Reshma walked the ramp at the prestigious New York Fashion Week. “This was her first time in New York and was very excited. She thinks it’s important that people hear the stories about the survivors of the acid attack and know they can lead normal lives.

Acid attacks are common in India even today. Most of these attacks are due to rejection of marriage, refusal by women of sexual advances, or dowry disagreements. Many of them get seriously injured; some die. Most chemical assault survivors do not come out in public and lead a quiet confined life in the dark. Some find it hard to stand the humiliation and commit suicide.

 reshma qureshi and sunny leone

Reshma plans to complete her education and hopes to set an example for other acid attack survivors in India. She said “Why should we not enjoy our lives? What happened to us is not our fault and we’ve done nothing wrong, and so we should also move forward in life,”

Hopefully, not only will her step help change the societal perception of beauty but more importantly turn the lens on an important issue plaguing the women of the country.

Video: Acid attack victim Reshma Qureshi and actress Sunny Leone walk in the fashion show at New York Fashion Week

Reshma Qureshi Quotes

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