“One second should not decide my entire life.”
I was 18 and just finishing school, living my dream of becoming a beauty consultant or fashion designer in Mumbai. But my dreams were cut short when I was attacked with acid. That one second has put me back by a few years. But I will not let that one second decide my entire life.
I lost my left eye in the acid attack and for many months, I was afraid to look at my own face. But, still, I did not lose hope. With help from my parents and from the NGO Make Love Not Scars, I have had multiple surgeries on my eyes and my face. My recovery was painful both emotionally and physically. Even then, I think of what happened to me as a temporary detour and I have to get back on the highway of life.
“I want to share my story so that I can change things and help others like me”
Many young women like me have lost their eyes, faces and even their lives to acid attacks in India. This cannot go on. I want to share my story and to fight against acid attacks so that I can change how things are with our laws and our society. One reason why this happened to me is that until recently, buying acid was as easy as buying vegetables. Even now, in many places, there are no strict regulations on the sale of acid for cleaning.
“We must show our faces and we must be fearless”
They may have tried to destroy my face but they cannot destroy my spirit. I have the right to live my life and I will continue fighting. I will continue my work of supporting other survivors like me and campaigning against acid attacks. We must show our faces and we must be fearless and independent.
I am raising funds so that I can live an independent life. I wish to enroll for a beauty course so that I can start earning money on my own. I also need funds for an eye surgery as sometimes my eyes start bleeding. Finally, I hope that some day I can go back to Mumbai and live independently.
Below are some of the media coverages you can check out :
- Indiegogo campaign by Make Love Not Scars to raise funds for Reshma’s surgery: ps://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-acid-attack-survivor-reshma
- “Beauty Tips by Reshma” YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MhbULUd-KE
- Coverage of Reshma at New York Fashion Week: https://time.com/4485099/reshma-qureshi-new-york-fashion-week-acid-attack/
- Reshma’s speech on Josh Talks: https://youtu.be/O295Mwxxn50
- Reshma’s interview on MirrorNow with Faye D’Souza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ5tbZC_3iY