By Manira Chaudhary:
Reshma Quereshi, a young student of a local municipality school in Mumbai, was allegedly attacked by her brother-in-law on 19th May 2014 when she went to visit her sister in Allahabad.
A frightening tactic used to intimidate or ‘punish’ a girl who may have stood up against unwarranted advances by a man, an acid attack involves tossing a bottle full of highly corrosive acid on her face. And countless girls in our country have been a victim of this act. According to BBC, India witnesses around 1000 cases of acid attacks every year with 90% of victims being women and the cases have only been increasing.
The loose implementation of laws has ensured the unabated open sale of acid, despite the Supreme Court’s directive in 2013 on curbing and regulating the sale. Our society does not make it any easier for the survivors of such attacks as they are constantly looked at with denigrating sympathy or worse, are avoided and quarantined completely.
But Reshma, with the help of the organisation ‘Make Love Not Scars’ has been bravely fighting her situation and the stereotypes imposed on acid attack survivors by the society. She recently starred in a video series called ‘Beauty Tips by Reshma’ as a part of the campaign to end the open sale of acid.
Youth Ki Awaaz caught up with Reshma at Josh Talks held in Delhi on International Women’s Day on 8th of March this year. She spoke of her experience of making the beauty tip videos and what her idea of ‘beauty’ is.