Acid attack survivor and activist, Laxmi has become the face of a new fashion campaign in India called “Face of Courage,” which challenges social perceptions of physical beauty and attractiveness.
Laxmi was attacked by an older man and his friend, who poured acid on her face and arms after she refused his marriage proposal when she was just 15 years old.
The perpetrators were eventually imprisoned, but she had to undergo expensive medical treatment and several surgeries.
An online news website, mashable.com reports that Lasmi who is now 26 years old, has become an advocate for women affected by acid attacks, a widespread form of gendered violence in India.
In 2013, her public interest litigation led to a major judgement when the Supreme Court ordered restrictions on the sale of acids and higher compensation for victims.
As a matter of fact, in 2014, she was presented with the International Women of Courage Award by Michelle Obama.
Laxmi’s resilience inspired Indian apparel retailer Viva N Diva to ask her to lead its fashion campaign.
“The whole idea was to challenge the widespread judgement of women on the basis of their beauty.
“You always see actresses or models on the cover of a magazine,” Aayushi Rastogi of Viva N Diva said.
“We also thought of creating employment opportunities for these women who have been socially cornered, and bring out their inner spark,” Rastogi added.