A WOMAN who was just two months old when her dad doused her in acid now runs a survivor foundation and is an aspiring model. Anmol Rodrigous, 23, f
A WOMAN who was just two months old when her dad doused her in acid now runs a survivor foundation and is an aspiring model.
Anmol Rodrigous, 23, from Mumbai, was left blind in one eye and with a scarred face after the terrifying attack, which also killed her mum who was breastfeeding her at the time.
The motive of the assault was to get rid of both her and her mum for giving birth to a girl.
But brave Anmol has not only overcome the physical and emotional pain, she has also become an inspiration to many women like her.
Anmol, which means priceless in Hindi, unabashedly claims to be the happiest girl in the world and is a self-confessed fashionista.
She runs an NGO Acid Survivor Sahas Foundation, through which she has helped 20 such women getting employment and organised a lavish wedding for a friend.
She is also a TEDx Speaker, a trained salsa dancer, is a creative brain for an online youth channel and posts pictures of her work to her thousands of Instagram followers.
Anmol says: “I love my life as it is. Not even once have I felt that I am different. This could also be because I only remember seeing myself with one eye and wrinkled, burnt skin.
“I have very happily accepted myself and this has given me hopes and confidence to keep moving in life.”
After she was attacked and left to die by her dad Ashraf, Anmol was kept under the care of doctors for five years.
Once her wounds healed to a certain degree, she was raised in an orphanage and given an education.
Anmol confesses that growing up with a burnt face was not easy as she was constantly reminded of the terrible attack.
She relayed: “I was too young and never understood why I looked different from others at the hospital but when I came in the orphanage I realised children were different than me.
“While no one hated me, initially they were scared of my face but gradually, as we grew older, I made many friends. But outside orphanage it was always difficult.
“Girls would find it strange that I loved fashion and always wore trendy clothes. Some would keep staring at me while others would be curious to know what happened to my face.
“I wish my mother was alive. Not that I am not thankful for the orphanage for shaping up my life, I miss mother’s love. I would have a friend in her who would love me unconditionally.”
After she finished her college two years ago, Anmol moved out of the orphanage and has since been living on her alone.
Anmol gets in touch with women leaders and politicians to arrange work opportunities for girls like her.
She says: “I have always loved fashion. I am quite trendy and love to dress up.
“People see me and are surprised by my attitude but I want to tell the world that acid attack survivors have the zeal to live. We do not need pity. We need support.
“This is also why I have started my own NGO. My aim is to counsel the girls, get their confidence back and rehabilitate.
“I counsel them that their lives are not over. Another factor is that because they are attacked while in school, they have to quit studies midway. But I was lucky enough to complete my studies.
“I now try to educate them, provide them with a means to hone up their skills so they can get a job to earn a living.”
The young girl says she loves to dress up and wishes to become a model.
She has already been offered model assignments by two designers to promote their jewelleries on Instagram.
She said: “I want to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model who can’t just promote fashion but also spread awareness that acid does not end life.
“This is really exciting and I am soon going to get the opportunity what I have been longing for.
“I hope my stint will inspire women like me to not cover their face in a veil, instead walk confidently with their face.
“Acid can only change our face but not ruin our soul. We are same inside out and we should accept ourselves who we are and live our lives happily.”
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