eated in her tiny home in Kurla, in north Mumbai, Reshma Qureshi had
plenty of unanswered questions.
“How come it’s easier to buy acid than get the right shade of lipstick?”
“Why can’t people treat me normally?”
Reshma, 20, just like any girl her age, was excited about walking the ramp for
designer Archana Kochhar’s collection, A Tale of Two Travels, as well as for
designer Vaishali S at the New York Fashion Week this month.
The braveheart acid attack survivor spoke with India Abroad in Mumbai and
from New York about her transformation, life post the attack and her dream to
help reinforce the ban on the sale of acid in India. In 2013, the Supreme Court
banned the open sale of acid in India, but it is still freely available in most parts
of the country.
What crossed your mind when you got to know that you would walk at the New
York Fashion Week?
There are many such survivors who are scared to step out of their homes for
the fear of being mocked and judged. When I got to know that I’d be walking the
ramp at NYFW I hoped that when these survivors see me, it will give them the
courage to confidently step out of their homes.
Look at me. Did I do something awfully wrong? Then why should I hide my
How long will you be in the US?
It’s my first trip abroad, and I’ll be there for two weeks.
It has been over two years since you were attacked...
I still remember that day: May 19, 2014. I was just 18 years old.
My sister and her husband were having some domestic issues around that
time. He used to harass her and also beat her. So, my family decided to get her
home. My sister had a four-year-old son and we put him in a school. But they
took the child away and so we had to file a case against them.
The day of the hearing, they attacked me.
I was with my sister and was going to write my exams. My brother-in-law was
waiting for us with his cousins. They caught my sister’s hand. She yelled and
asked me to run. Scared, I started running when they caught me by my hair,
threw me on the ground and doused my face with acid.
THE ACID ATTACK SURVIVOR AT NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
‘Look at me. Did I do something awfully wrong?
Then why should I hide my face?’
Reshma Qureshi invited Anita Aikara into
her home and life before her trip to the US.
Snapshots from when Indian acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi walked for Indian designer Archana Kochhar’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection at the New York Fashion Week, September 8. Right, Bollywood star Sunny Leone was among those who walked for Kochhar.
Reshma Qureshi, left, with designer Vaishali S at the New York Fashion Week.
LUCAS JACKSON/REU TERS
PHOTOGRAPHS: PARESH GANDHI
September 23, 2016