A 19-year-old from Mumbai whose face was brutally disfigured in an acid attack will walk the ramp in New York next month in her first trip overseas. Reshma Qureshi was attacked by her brother-in-law and pinned down by his friends who doused her face in acid in 2014.
Her face was damaged and she lost sight in one eye, but Ms Qureshi has been determined to build a life for herself. She is the face of a campaign to end open sale of acid in India and appears in videos on YouTube offering beauty tips and make-up advice.
FTL Moda, a fashion production company, invited her to take part in New York Fashion Week, the bi-annual style frenzy that brings together models, fashion editors, buyers and designers from across the world.
“I am both ecstatic and nervous. I had never in my wildest dreams thought of going abroad let alone walking at a major fashion show. I am yet to sink in the feeling,” Banu, who was left depressed and suicidal from the attack two years ago, told Daily Mail. “I do not know about the brand. I do not know what I am going to wear or how I will walk. I am not prepared for all that. I am just
happy to have been invited for a big event like this and show the world that beauty lies in the soul and not in looks.”
Bano, who does beauty tutorials on YouTube to raise awareness about the dangers of acid attacks, was on her way to an exam center May 19, 2014, with her sister, who had left her husband after reportedly being subjected to abuse and torture, when the estranged husband attacked them, the report adds. According to Bano, he was angry that her sister had taken their son. Bano, who stepped in to protect her sister, was unaware that he was carrying a corrosive substance.
The fashion show is part of a campaign called #IAmNYFW, which aims to increase diversity in fashion. Bano told Daily Mail that she is ‘proud’ to get the opportunity to help others and ‘give a voice’ to women like her who have been suffering alone. “I am hoping my participation will give them a confidence that they do not need to hide behind the veils,” she said.