Salute: Sheroes Cafe to brew hope among acid-attack survivors

Written by March 7, 2016 | 8:33 pm

zohheb
Ch. Zohheb Farooqui

Lucknow: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” The quote by noted American Journalist and Essayist Nora Ephron aptly describes Laxmi Agarwal, a 26-year-old acid attack survivor, who never let the heinous act be a hurdle in her life.

Laxmi was acid-attacked when she was merely 15 and was studying in seventh standard. Though the acid burnt and mutilated her face but Laxmi never let it kill her spirit and hope. She decided to pursue her dreams and take a stand for all such victims who are assaulted by cowards. Thereafter, she formed a Non Government Organization (NGO) which is dedicated to help the acid attack survivors in India.

Laxmi told newztrack.com that this is just the beginning and she still has a lot to do for such victims. In 2013, she founded a cafe namely ‘Sheroes Hangout’ under ‘Stop Acid Attacks campaign’ in Delhi.

The main objective of ‘Sheroes Hangout’ cafe is to bring as many acid attack victims as possible under one roof to create them an environment of happiness and encouragement. The workers here are mostly women, who have fought back for survival through atrocious chemical burns and are now, on a journey to regard themselves as ‘fighters’, courageous battlers who walk with scars on faces but are extremely brave and clean at hearts.

That was the beginning and since then, Laxmi succeeded in establishing two more  branches of the Sheroes Hangout cafe in Agra and Lucknow.

The branch of Sheroes Hangout Cafe, which will be a place of pride and esteem for acid attack victims,  will be inaugurated on Tuesday at Gomtinagar in the state capital by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Highlights:

  • Laxmi Agarwal is an Indian campaigner and a Television host.
  • She is an acid attack survivor who speaks for the rights of acid attack victims.
  • She said that the society is least supportive of victims like her and it speaks ill of them.
  • According to Laxmi, the government departments do not work without being pressurised by higher authorities or power.
  • She alleged that her team never received sufficient help from the government until the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav himself visited them and realized their agony of being an acid-attack victim.
  • She was acid assaulted by a 32-year-old man on rejecting his marriage proposal.
  • Laxmi’s career was started as a campaigner with ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ campaign.
  • She is today more than an inspiration for several hundreds of women who think their life ends after such attacks.
  • Laxmi said, “no calamity can be a destroyer of your dreams if your dreams are set on fire.”
  • Laxmi also said, “women’s day should not be just one day celebration and other 364 days of violence against women but our society should learn to respect and value the women throughout the year and forever”.