There are thousands of acid attack victims in the world every year this is a story about one of the survivors Laxmi Agarwal.
Acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal was born in New Delhi in a middle-class family. Since childhood, she dreamt of making it big as a singer one day. In 2005, At the age of 15 when a stalker (Laxmi friends brother) Naeem whose marriage proposal she had rejected But little did she know that Naeem Khan was getting obsessed with her with every passing day. Naeem continued to pursue Laxmi, and she kept turning down his advances.
In 2005, one day while Laxmi was headed to a bookshop in South Delhi. Naeem accompanied by two of his friends attacked Laxmi and threw acid on her face. While Laxmi lay on the road after getting attacked, nobody came forward to help here initially. It was only later when a taxi driver came forward and took her to 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 and luckily Laxmi had survived.
Laxmi said, “When I first saw my face in the mirror after two-and-a-half months, I thought to myself, ‘I do not deserve something as bad as this. This cannot happen to me."After the attack, Her mental health affected so badly But with her courage and determination, Laxmi took up life’s challenge and manage to stand back on her feet and become the hope of all acid victims of the world.
In 2006 she filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a complete ban on acid sale And finally, in 2013, Laxmi’s struggle paid off after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Laxmi and Rupa’s plea, thereby creating a fresh set of restrictions on the sale of acid. Laxmi, along with other acid attack survivors, started a hunger strike demanding immediate justice and rehabilitation for acid attack survivors.
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.
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. Laxmi and Alok both work together to help and support the acid attack victims from different parts of the country. The couple had a baby named Pihu. Laxmi had already separated from her partner and owing to some differences with him. Now she is bringing up her daughter as a strong, single mother.
Laxmi Agarwal, the 30-year-old acid attack survivor was recently awarded the International Women Empowerment Award 2019 for this campaign.