I Have No Money & Soon be Without House: Acid Attack Survivor, Laxmi Agarwal
30 years old Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor poured her heart out on Facebook after bearing enough of harassment. She talks of the biases prevail in the society that is ready to give her awards but not a job or a rented house. With no regular supply of income in hands, Lakshmi is living her life in misery and panic. She has a daughter to think about but no support either from her partner, family or society.
Recently, her landlord asked either to leave the house or pay an increased rent. Being unable to find a regular source of income, she started searching for a new house. While talking to SheThePeople.TV, she says “No owner is ready to rent the house because of my disfigured face. They don’t want the kids to be scared because of my face. Laxmi has been fighting for the inclusion of the acid survivors in the mainstream society for long, but today standing on the verge of being homeless.
Quitting the Job & Irregular Income
Laxmi Aggarwal co-founded Chaanv foundation for acid attack survivors with her former live-in partner Alok Dixit. As the director of Chaanv Foundation, she was getting an amount of Rs 10,000 monthly. The duo also started a cafe in Lucknow and Agra which recruited only acid survivors didn’t work well on pay as you wish policy. However, the women also quit her job in the foundation after her differences with the partner. The couple mutually decided to not get married and has a three-year-old daughter. Laxmi is worried about her daughter’s future as she is without any support and money.
“People think I have lots of money as I walk the ramp and get many awards. But ramps don’t pay you anything and what will I do with medals if I can’t pay for my basic needs”: SheThePeople.TV
She goes on the say: “Money has been extremely irregular after I quit Chaanv. I get an event in 2-3 months and receive an amount of 30,000 to 35,000 in which I manage my next 2-3 months. She is a trained beautician but no one is ready to give her a job because of the face. Laxmi has not been able to send her daughter to any school.
She Raised Her Voice on Facebook, Here’s What Happened Next:
Laxmi decided to go live on Facebook and narrated her story to tell people how society treats acid survivors. Many people connected her to offer help and support. According to Hindustan Times (HT), Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar offered a help of 5 lakhs to Laxmi so that she can search a dignified job without worrying about the basic needs. The actor also says, “The society needs to understand when a person is in search of livelihood, medals and awards can’t help them. One needs to support with practical means”. (HT)
What Else Can Be Done?
Lakshmi is a fighter, she has managed to show strength in times when any person would have crumbled. However, without proper financial support and need, things get extremely difficult. What Laxmi needs is a dignified job, place to live and inclusive atmosphere. She is a trained beautician with experience of working in the NGO at managerial level. However, because of our exclusive society and prejudices in people’s mind, her face is kept over the talent. We hope things change soon for Lakshmi!