Laxmi Saa is a mom in trouble not knowing how to tell her two-year-old daughter what happened to her scarred face.
When Laxmi was 15, she received a marriage proposal from a man almost twice her age. Young and naïve Laxmi turned down the proposal and the man took hard the rejection.
Laxmi was walking the streets of the market in South Delhi in 2005 when she ran into the man and his brother’s girlfriend. She suddenly felt her face burning and shove on the ground. It was an acid attack, a normal occurrence for women in India as a form of revenge.
“I felt as if someone had set my whole body on fire. The skin was just coming off, it was like dripping, from my hands and from my face,” she recalled.
She was hospitalized for 10 weeks, and afterward lived like a recluse as her friends abandoned her and she feared other people staring at her ruined face.
However, she ultimately overcame her fear and went on her way to become a vocal campaigner with the Stop Acid Attacks campaign.
“I just hope my charity work will help protect my daughter from any type of attack in the future,” said Laxmi, now director of the non-profit Chhanv Foundation, which provides medical and legal aid and other support to survivors of acid attacks in India.
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