Laxmi Agarwal walking the ramp with designer Laxmi Shirali Sood in New Delhi on Friday.
Laxmi Agarwal walking the ramp with designer Laxmi Shirali Sood in New Delhi on Friday.

Meghna Gulzar's muse Laxmi Agarwal 'excited' about 'Chhapaak'

By Toprit Saifi (ANI) | Updated: Mar 29, 2019 19:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): Sometimes it just requires a positive attitude and courage to pick up the pieces and start all over again. This is what Laxmi Agarwal, the poster girl of acid attack survivors in India, stands for. She rose like a phoenix from the ashes.
Taking the inspiration from Agarwal, a movie titled ‘Chhapaak’ is being made by director Meghna Gulzar. The gorgeous Deepika Padukone would be playing Agarwal.
Recently released first look of the actress has already taken the internet by storm. Padukone’s look as Laxmi Agarwal has stunned everyone which shares an uncanny similarity with Agarwal.
“It makes me happy that an actress like Padukone is embodying my character,” said Agarwal, while talking to ANI. The movie is co-produced by Padukone and Fox Star Studios and is slated to hit the theatres on January 10, 2020. 
Sharing her views on the first look, Agarwal said: “It gives me immense happiness that a movie is being made on my life.”
Extending her gratitude to Gulzar and Padukone, she said: “I am delighted that they have taken up such a sensitive issue to take up with the audience.”
Laxmi, who interacted with ANI on the sidelines of India Runway Week where she is a showstopper for designer Laxmi Shirali Sood, not only survived the trauma of acid attack but has also given hope and courage to many young women not to give up and rise against odds to fame.
Asked if she is involved in the making of the film, Agarwal said: “Yes, I am very much involved in the film. Gulzar has spent a lot of time with me to understand my life. She knows my entire history.”  “I am confident that the movie will reflect my story the way it is.”
Talking about the kind of impact the movie will have on the society, she said: “Whenever any issue is picked up by the celebrities, people tend to pay attention to that. Now that the entire story will be narrated through the movie, I am sure the people will watch it and be sensitised.”
“Ever since the poster has been unveiled, there is a curiosity among the people to know the real story,” she said.
A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Laxmi Agarwal, at the age of 15, was attacked by a jilted lover in 2005. She later took to help other acid attack survivors and promoted campaigns to stop such attacks.
“Our society is such that when an attack happens, people start traumatising the victims. They are labelled as hapless. The first question that strikes the people is—who will marry this girl,” she said.
“Such treatments from society make the victim even more miserable and make them feel victimised like anything. The victim starts getting into the zone of self-pity and let the incident get over the personality,” she said.
According to her, the victims of acid attack need empathy, and not sympathy. “To make a change in their life, they should be provided with jobs, and not mercy. A job keeps them busy and helps them overcome the bitterness they acquired because of the crime of others,” she said.
“A job also becomes a source of satisfaction for them. If the person is not able to get over the incident, it is better to interact with the parents as they are the best motivator and give the best solution.”
“When I was attacked with acid, my mother was the only source of inspiration for me and enabled me to overcome the trauma. She still instills confidence in me. It is my mother who is the biggest survivor as she has suffered more than me,” she said.
Revealing the reason behind her positivity, she said: “If we look around, there are many underprivileged people around us but they are living their lives and are not giving up.”
“People sleeping on a footpath at night don't know if they would see the sun in the morning, and still they are living. So why can’t we live our lives? There is so much negativity in the world that even half of us try to radiate positivity, the world will become a better place to live,” she said.
 “A smile can change everything. I ask for equality, not respect. If equality is given, respect will come on its own. I am an independent woman and live the way I want,” said Laxmi. (ANI)

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