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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Models want to increase awareness of acid attacks across nation

Five female Indian acid attack victims gathered for a different sort of fashion shoot recently, in order to raise public awareness. The effect has been positive. "After the acid attack I never took photos," Rupa, one of the models said. "When the photos got circulated in the media, people started calling to inquire about me, I felt so good. After the photo shoot I want to go out meet more people."

First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.

First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, acid attack, fashion shoot


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The project was a groundbreaking one, as Indian acid attack victims generally go into hiding.

Twenty-two-year old Rupa, who was 15 years old when she was attacked by her stepmother after a dispute about money, came forward with her story. "That night, after acid was poured on my face, I could not see anything. I could not open my eyes, I was screaming," she said. "But no one came to help me. My stepmother watched me suffering."

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Disfigured by the attack, Rupa's life was irrevocably changed. "My studies stopped, I stopped playing."

First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about t

First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.


Rupa gathered enough courage three years later to look at her face in the mirror. Her lifelong dream was to be a fashion designer. To this end, Rupa designed the outfits for all the models featured on the photo shoot including herself.

First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.

Rupa's next step is to open a boutique. Currently she is living in Chhanv, a rehabilitation center for acid attack victims opened by the charity.

The Indian Supreme Court passed laws last year aimed to control over-the-counter sales of acid.

The Indian Supreme Court passed laws last year aimed to control over-the-counter sales of acid.


The Indian Supreme Court passed laws last year aimed to control over-the-counter sales of acid. Alok Dixit, founder of Stop Acid Attacks, says the law has been poorly implemented. "Yes, the law is on paper, but you can find acid easily in local markets," he said. "We need the government to be active in enforcing the law to regulate acid sales."

More than 200 acid attack cases have been reported since January of last year. Other activists believe the real number is much higher.

Lacking support from family and society, many victims do not report attacks to the police. Fearing social stigma, many do not even show their face in public.

This is what the photo shoot wants to change. "We want the acid attack survivors to come out of hiding and tell their stories. It is okay to show your face," Alok said.

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