A Survivor : The Story of Lakshmi Agarwal

She was just a 15 year old girl . A girl , full of life . But what happened to her .

It’s her story . A story of a survivor.

She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.”

– Atticus

At the age of 15 , when a girl or a boy makes happy memories and learn about life . She was attacked in the market full of people . She was attacked because she rejected an old jerk of 32 years old.

A 32 year old proposed a marriage proposal to a 15 year old girl , who lives near the neighborhood. She ignored and rejected him and he planned an acid attack .

Her name is Lakshmi Agarwal , she was attacked at the age of 15 in 2005 in New Delhi after rejecting the romantic advances of Naeem Khan . She didn’t inform anyone about the scenario because she believed her parents and society would have blamed her and stopped her study .

After 10 months , Lakshmi was in the market and Naeem asked her again through message about the marriage proposal but she didn’t respond . And in no time , Kamran (Naeem’s older brother ) and his girlfriend attacked her with acid . He was in the motorcycle and his girlfriend Rakhi threw acid on Lakshmi , when Kamran called her name and she looked behind for response.

She fainted on the road and when she regain consciousness she went middle of the road asked for help and met with multiple accidents but no one stopped to help her . She was burning in fire and her skin was melting.

A man named Arun Singh called PCR and told police about the situation . Someone threw water to help her but it turned out opposite and the acid burnt her neck . Arun think it might be late , so he helped her on the backseat of his car , later the seat cover turned into black hole due to the acid .

Arun admitted her in the hospital , called police and her family . Lakshmi went through many surgeries and operations including eye surgery. Four days later Naeem Khan got arrested but was bailed after a month later .

Protests and media attention.

After many protests and media attention Naeem got life imprisonment .

Lakshmi’s story was one of the series in the Hindustan Times. Lakshmi was scared after the attack because most of her face and body parts were not same as before . But she didn’t loose hope ,she fought for justice , asked for help for the victims of acid attacks and pleaded the law for the ban on sale of acid.

Meanwhile government failed to frame policies on acid sale and chemical attacks .

Seriousness is not seen on the part of the government in handling the issue,” the bench headed by Justice RM Lodha.

In 2013 , the plea of Agarwal was heard and later claims that “ Acid is freely available in shops. Our own volunteers have gone and purchased acid easily. In fact, I have myself purchased acid,” she said. “We have launched a new initiative called ‘Shoot Acid’.

After , the law passed by Supreme court . Lakshmi founded NGO named Chhanv Foundation to help acid attack survivors in India.

In 2019, she was honored with the International Women Empowerment Award from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and UNICEF for her campaign of Stop Acid Sale. In 2014, she received the International Women of Courage award at the hands of First Lady Michelle Obama.

And the movie Chhapaak is based on her life and stars Deepika Padukone in her role.

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”

– Mark Anthony

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