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Meet acid attack survivor Anmol Rodriguez who has fashioned a better world for herself and others like her

Think Change India
8th Jan 2019
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Despite a traumatic past, Anmol Rodriguez has done everything she could to make a better life for herself. She is now on a mission to help others like her.

Anmol Rodriguez was just two months old when her father poured acid on her in an attempt to kill her. Anmol had to undergo several surgical procedures, and she lost an eye and her face became disfigured in the process.

Anmol
Anmol with veteran actress Shabana Azmi. Source: Urban Asian

Despite such a harsh past, the 23-year-old now goes about setting an example of how one can, if they really want to, rise above all odds. With an aim to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model she also founded an NGO called Acid Attack Survivor Sahas Foundation.

Her NGO focuses on providing counselling and employment opportunities for survivors of acid attacks and enables them to take care of their needs. It also helps them get proper education and makes them emotionally strong.

Anmol is now a fashion icon, with her Instagram handle having over one lakh followers. But all this success and recognition did not happen overnight.

Anmol Rodriguez
Anmol is quite active on Instagram and has gained popularity among her fans. Source: Medium

Raised in an orphanage in Mumbai, Anmol struggled to make friends and mingle with people her own age. She also had to quit her job as she faced discrimination at her workplace.

In a conversation with Daily Mail, she said,

I was too young and never understood why I looked different from others at the hospital. But when I came to the orphanage, I realised children were different than me. While no one hated me, initially they feared my face. Gradually, as we grew older, I made many friends. But outside the orphanage, it was always difficult.

During her college days, Anmol stood out for her acute sense of fashion. She channelled this interest into modelling for a few Instagram pages as well as for some YouTube channels while still in college. Recently, she also debuted in a short film.

In an interaction with The New Indian Express, Anmol said,

"I want to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model who does just promote fashion but also spreads awareness that acid does not end life. Acid can only change our face but not ruin our soul. We are the same inside out and we should accept who we are and live our lives happily."

When asked to define herself in three words, she told a Medium blogger,

Cheerful- You will see me smiling all the time, even in unpleasant situations. Things will change but I shouldn’t, or my motto shouldn’t. Optimist- I have a positive outlook towards life, in general. Confident- I’m confident enough to conquer the world.

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