Indian Acid Attack Survivor Steals the Spotlight at New York Fashion Week

19 year old, Reshma Bano Qureshi who survived an acid attack rocked the runway for designer, Archana Kochhar on Thursday at the New York Fashion Week.

Her face may appear disfigured, but Indian model Reshma Bano Qureshi, has found a way to overcome adversity and become a role model for the world.  She was only 17 years old when a relative along with two other men held her down and threw acid on her face, leaving her in unspeakable pain and physical and emotional scars.

Reshma Bano Qureshi walks at the New York Fashion Week (MARY ALTAFFER/AP)

But to see her on the ramp, walking proudly in a floor length white gown accented with mosaic patterns by designer Archana Kochhar, was a jubilant moment that became the show stealer.

“I want to tell the world — do not see us in a weak light and see that even we can go out and do things,” Reshma told AFP.  “People have a tendency to look at acid attack survivors from one perspective and I don’t want them to look at them like that anymore.”

Bollywood actress Sunny Leone joined Reshma’s efforts as showstopper and praised her courage on the global stage.  Reshma has joined an NGO, Make Love Not Scars and went viral after she made a tutorial video on how to cover up acid scars with make up.

Reshma with Bollywood actress, Sunny Leone

Estimates show that about 500 to 1000 cases of acid attacks occur in India, often with fatal results.

–Kelly Fine