A beautiful 19-year-old girl, Reshma Bano Khureshi from Mumbai, India has an amazing and unique story. The young woman is a true hero, having saved her sister’s life from a vicious acid attack by her husband.
Reshma has since gone on to be an inspiration to women and girls all over the world, even landing the chance to walk the runway during New York City’s Fashion Week in 2016.
During the spring of 2014, Reshma and her sister were walking together when her sister’s recently-estranged husband and two of his friends approached them and attacked.
“My brother-in-law was angry that she had taken their son,” explained Reshma. “To take revenge, he came to attack her with acid but before he could, I jumped for her rescue. I did not know he was carrying a corrosive substance. The next thing I knew was that my skin was scalding and I could barely see anything.”
The sulfuric acid attack left Reshmi without her left eye and her face was very badly burned and disfigured.
Over the next nine months after her accident, Reshma had to endure five facial skin-graft surgeries. She became depressed with the way she looked, and the treatments were very expensive for her family. Reshma considered suicide multiple times over the course of the aftermath of her surgeries.
She had lost the will to live, and she was in constant pain. When the time came to look at her reflection in the mirror, she was anything but happy with what she saw.
“I fell unconscious,” she recalls. “I was a beautiful girl but now all I saw in the mirror was a scalded face with one missing eye.”
Just when it seemed like Reshma would be spending the rest of her life hiding from her own reflection, her luck turned around. She met Ria Sharma, CEO and founder of Make Love Not Scars, which is an organization dedicated to ending the uncontrolled sale of acidic substances.
It turned out to be a life-changing occurrence for Reshma. Ria helped Reshma fund her surgeries, and even got her started on a rehabilitation program that brought Reshma back to life.
Reshma soon became a part of Make Love Not Scars’ crusade through multiple ad campaigns to stop the sale of disfiguring acids, and to reach out to women who were victims of similar circumstances.
“I am hoping my participation will give them a confidence that they do not need to hide behind the veils,” she explains.