Laxmi Agarwal - Indian acid attack survivor

 She was beautiful and also very innocent. His voice was melodious and the style was charming. During school days every boy wanted to befriend him. One day a boy expressed love in front of him. But the girl refused. Stung by refusal, the boy poured acid on her beautiful face. Everything shattered in an instant. He underwent treatment for many years. Then he got courage and got justice for other victims like himself. This girl's name is Lakshmi, an example of courage and passion. Recently Lakshmi was awarded the Woman of the Courage Award in the US. Lakshmi, who lives in Delhi, then studied in class nine. His father worked as a chef in an ordinary hotel and mother took care of the house. This middle class family never imposed any restrictions on the wishes of the daughter. He was very fond of singing. In those days she was preparing to participate in the talent hunt program Indian Ideal. The only dream in my mind was that somehow I get a chance to sing on TV.

Laxmi Agarwal

Lakshmi had a good friend in school. She often went to Saheli's house, unaware that Saheli's brother is constantly watching over her. One day Saheli's brother sent her the message of 'I love you'. He thought it right to ignore the message. Unknown to the boy's mind, Laxmi started going to and from school as usual. Two days later, as she was returning from school, the boy suddenly stood in front of them on the street. The boy said, I love you very much and want to get married. He had an obsession with passion on his face. Laxmi had never spoken to the boy before. He behaved strangely. She went ahead without saying anything. Meanwhile, the young man tried to stop her path, but somehow she escaped. Lakshmi understood that she was mad. He thought that the needless householders would be upset, so did not mention it to anyone. Just two days after this incident, in the evening while she was waiting for the bus at the bus stop in Khan Market area, the madness surfaced again.

This is dated 18 April 2005. He gave voice to Lakshmi and then pushed her down the middle road. Before she could understand anything, the young man poured an acid bottle on her face. In just seconds, says Lakshmi, my face burned, my ears swayed with acid, my hands burnt to black. It felt like someone had thrown me into the fire. I could not open my eyes. I was crying, telling the passing cars to stop. But everyone went ahead, ignoring me. Shortly after the attack, a car driver took Laxmi to the hospital and informed her family about it. Mother and father ran to the hospital. He woke up to see Lakshmi's face covered with white bandage. Lakshmi remained in the hospital for ten weeks. During this time he had seven operations. Laxmi says, I saw my face for the first time after surgery, then I had to scream. I thought it was not my face. It was difficult to identify myself. Laxmi's life changed after the attack. Felt, all have become ill.

Friends stopped talking, neighbors stopped coming home. Nobody wanted to see the face of an ugly girl like Lakshmi. Laxmi says, a month after the attack, the one who attacked me was released from jail, but I had to hide my face for eight years. I would always cover my face with a scarf and go out. The householders spent all their money in the treatment of Lakshmi. The doctors had clearly said that the treatment would last long. His face, his neck and arms were scorched. Thankfully the eyesight was intact. Lakshmi was understanding the circumstances of the house. He decided to do the job. She would go home every day in search of work and would return in the evening disappointed. Nobody was willing to give a job to a girl with a face like his. Says Lakshmi, he used to say that people will get scared by looking at your face. Some people would ask to be avoided, okay, we will call you. But nobody calls me for a job.

However, the world was not so bad for Lakshmi. Some people who knew his father gave financial support for treatment. Amidst despair and darkness, doctors also encouraged Laxmi. Lakshmi approached the Supreme Court to get justice. But this request was not just for their help. This appeal was for all victims like him. Lakshmi was trying to move ahead with the straw of life that she got another shock. A father who loved him deeply and gave him courage passed away. My father died in 2012, says Lakshmi. Meanwhile, my brother got TB disease. I was all alone. Mother lived with brother all the time and I had to struggle alone. In the year 2013, Lakshmi's hard work paid off. The Supreme Court, while hearing Laxmi's plea, ordered the central and state governments to stop the open sale of acid and provide financial assistance to girls suffering from acid attack. On March 5, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama of America honored Lakshmi with the Woman of the Courage Award. Laxmi says, I have many friends today. But they are all victims of acid attack. She is like me Ordinary girls do not want to befriend us at all. Don't know why people hate our face.

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