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Laxmi Agarwal

Laxmi Agarwal
  • Laxmi Agarwal (born 1 June 1990) is an Indian campaigner with Stop Sale Acid and a TV host.
  • She is an acid attack survivor and speaks for the rights of acid attack victims. She was attacked in 2005 at age 15, by a 32-year-old man Gudda and his alias Nadeem Syed whose advances she had rejected.
  • Her story, among others, was told in a series on acid attack victims by Hindustan Times. She has also advocated against acid attacks through gathering 27,000 signatures for a petition to curb acid sales, and taking that cause to the Indian Supreme Court.She is the Founder of Stop Sale Acid, a campaign against acid violence and sale of acid.
  • On her way to a book shop near Khan Market where Laxmi was working as an assistant, a long-time stalker and a man twice her age, threw a beer bottle loaded with acid on her for rejecting his advances.
  • And ever since this horrific incident, she’s had to undergo multiple surgeries, but more critically, overcome the psychological scars that have come with it.
  • Laxmi, whose face and other body parts were disfigured in the acid attack, had a PIL in 2006. A minor then, Laxmi was attacked with acid near Tughlaq road in New Delhi as she had refused to marry Naeem Khan aka Guddu, of the trio.
  • Her PIL sought framing of a new law, or amendment to the existing criminal laws like IPC.She had also pleaded for a total ban on sale of acid, citing increasing number of incidents of such attacks on women across the country.
  • Meanwhile, in 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Laxmi and Rupa’s plea, thereby creating a fresh set of restrictions on the sale of acid.
  • Under the new regulations, acid could not be sold to any individual below the age of 18 years. One is also required to furnish a photo identity card before buying acid.
  • Laxmi claims that not much has changed on the ground, despite all the regulations. “Acid is freely available in shops. Our own volunteers have gone and purchased acid easily. In fact, I have myself purchased acid,” she said.
  • Four years ago, her life seemed the perfect happilyever-after story. She and her partner, Alok Dixit, the founder of the Stop Acid Attack campaign, were expecting a child. The couple, in the news for their conscious decision to live-in and not marry , had also co-founded an NGO, Chhanv Foundation.
  • Soon after the daughter was born, though, the two separated on account of some differences. That was three years ago. Agarwal had custody. She also had a job — a director of the NGO, for which she was paid a honorarium of Rs 10,000 a month.