The Acid in Our Minds: Laxmi Agarwal’s Stirring TEDx Talk
In her talk, Agarwal touched upon issues of beauty standards, education, and awareness about acid attacks.
When a 15-year-old Laxmi Agarwal saw her face for the first time after an acid attack, she wanted to kill herself. Her slim dreams of being a singer had gone, and all her relatives and her friends had nothing more to do with her.
At a TEDx event in Jaipur however, Lakshmi explained to those watching that her life had to start again after her attack, undeterred and confident.
He threw acid on my face, not on my dreams.Laxmi Agarwal
Her Advice to The Public
While recalling the events that unfolded, both before and after her attack, Laxmi talked about a variety of issues – from social justice to education, and a need to change the standards of beauty.
People know what rape is, people know what domestic violence is, but people do not know what acid attacks are, and that needs to change.
Raising awareness about acid attacks, and pressuring legal bodies to take strict action against it, has become one of Laxmi’s foremost responsibilities. She does, however, acknowledge that every milestone will be met with another mountain.
Despite the Supreme Court controlling the sale of acid, the acid inside our head still exists.
The ‘Sheroes Hangout’ Project
Lakshmi ended her TED talk by talking about the ‘Sheroes Hangout’ project — an initiative started by the ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ Campaign in Agra, in 2014. The campaign helps victims of acid attacks follow their dreams and passions without prejudice.
The initiative also runs a cafe where patrons can pay whatever amount they feel, and can buy products made by various acid attack survivors. The cafe stands for the collective aspirations of these brave survivors, who have overcome insurmountable odds, with little or no government aid, and are now pursuing their dreams.
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