Laxmi refuses to allow herself to continue to be victimized.
One of Laxmi’s goals in helping other attack survivors is to show them that they still have a voice, and that they still have beauty. In her latest venture with Viva N Diva, Laxmi proves that beauty is a feeling, rather than a physical state of being. “I didn’t feel for a second that I wasn’t a professional model,” she told Indian Express about her photo shoots. “I wasn’t made to feel I was a survivor. There were lights, camera, make-up artists, it was different world and I enjoyed every moment of it. I love to dress up and here I was trying new clothes every minute. The feeling was beautiful.”
She’s using her image and voice to bring about change.
“This opportunity to represent an apparel brand was a platform for me to set an example for women like me to be confident and have courage despite their physical appearances,” Saa said to the BBC. “This was also a platform for me to send a clear message to criminals that women will not lose courage even after they are attacked with acid to destroy their physical beauty.”
She’s also helping in a myriad of other ways.
The Chhanv Foundation, of which Laxmi is the director, also works with people who have already become victimized by this type of attack through providing them sustenance and rehabilitation. “We have welcomed over 300 survivors from all over the country and help them get on with their lives. When we narrate them our stories, it gives them strength to face life as it comes,” she says.
In order to get women back on their feet the foundation has even opened Sheroes, a cafe in Agra specifically geared towards helping these women find their lives again. “We are also planning to open Sheroes in Delhi and Lucknow,” says Laxmi. “It’s difficult for them to get jobs so we are trying to create opportunities in whatever way possible.”