Meet Reshma Quereshi, an acid attack survivor and a courageous woman, who lives to motivate other acid attack victims. In her regular life, she’s no different than you and I. She loves dressing up, putting makeup, and clicking selfies. Just like most of us, she desires to leave her mark on the world.
And well, she is indeed doing several things to make this dream come true.
Reshma has recently walked the ramp at the New York Fashion Week for ace designer Archana Kochhar. Dressed in an abstractly white printed outfit along with a gorgeous headgear, Reshma walked no less than a model. Under the arc lights, her confidence shone much brighter than her scars.
When Reshma was first told of this news by ‘Make Love Not Scars’, a rehabilitation centre for acid attack survivors she’s been the face of since 2014, she was in tears- nevertheless happy.
Two years ago in a small town of Uttar Pradesh, when she was just 17 and couldn’t be excited enough to have bought makeup for the first time, her brother in law scarred her face with acid mistaking her as his wife. The incident left her traumatized and plunged her into days of darkness and depression. There were also times when Reshma couldn’t see any reason to live anymore.
Seeing this day, isn’t it astonishing to see her immense bravery which kept her going even if she was clueless of where she is heading to? Life is indeed full of pleasant surprises.
Ria Sharma, the founder of NGO Make Love Not Scars, has been the guiding angel in Reshma’s life. She not just helped her seed funds for better treatment, but struck an emotional chord with her. She gave her the encouragement and hope for a life full of rewards and gave her a path to walk. This built Reshma’s confidence and pushed her to become a voice for other acid attack survivors. Honestly, all they need from us is acceptance for who they are; no pity, no charity.
”And it will also go to show people who judge people based on their appearance that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover—you should look at everyone though the same eyes.”
Thank you Reshma Qureshi for showing such beautiful dignity and astonishing bravery! #Archanakochhar #nyfw #ReshmaQureshi #fashionshow #couture #fashion #beautiful #Newyorkfashionweek #nyfw16 #backstage #nyfwbackstage #behindthescenes #nyfwaw16 #ftlmoda @ftlmoda @nyfwv A video posted by Archana Kochhar (@archanakochharofficial) on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:35am PDT
Thank you Reshma Qureshi for showing such beautiful dignity and astonishing bravery! #Archanakochhar #nyfw #ReshmaQureshi #fashionshow #couture #fashion #beautiful #Newyorkfashionweek #nyfw16 #backstage #nyfwbackstage #behindthescenes #nyfwaw16 #ftlmoda @ftlmoda @nyfwv
A video posted by Archana Kochhar (@archanakochharofficial) on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:35am PDT
However, this was not the first time Reshma was facing the camera. She made her debut in the modelling world with an online campaign #EndAcidSale. The campaign aimed to file a petition against the sale of acid openly.
The campaign grabbed all eyeballs. Reshma’s piercing words made people aware of an acid attack survivor taking charge of her own life. In fact, this year the campaign went on to clinch major accolades at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Reshma Quereshi, you for one, have not just made the victims look like survivors, you are also coming out to be an inspiration for all women to keep fighting. As she puts up, it’s definitely time to start looking beyond one’s face.