Woman disfigured in acid attack as a baby now runs a survivor foundation
An Indian woman, Anmol Rodrigous who was two months old when her father doused her in acid now runs her own survivor foundation and forges a career as a fashionista.
Anmol Rodrigous was left with a melted face and neck in the horrifying attack, which also killed her mother who was breast-feeding her at the time.
Despite her horrifying injuries, 23-year-old Anmol now proudly lives by herself in Mumbai in western India. She has not only overcome the physical and emotional pain, she has also become an inspiration to many women like her.
She was barely two months old, curled up in her mother’s lap and suckling on her breasts, when her father poured a can of acid on them, disfiguring her tiny face and blinding her in left eye.
The motive of the assault was to get rid of both the child and the mother for giving birth to a ‘girl’.
Anmol, which means priceless in Hindi, now unabashedly claims to be the happiest girl in the world and has developed into a fashionista, a trained salsa dancer and a creative brain for an online youth channel.
She is also an inspiration for acid attack survivors and runs an NGO Acid Survivor Sahas Foundation, through which she has helped 20 such women into employment and organised a lavish wedding for a friend.
Anmol says: ‘I love my life as it is. Not even once have I felt that I am different. This could also be because I only remember seeing myself with one eye and wrinkled, burnt skin.
‘I have very happily accepted myself and this has given me hopes and confidence to keep moving in life.’
Anmol has an ultra positive attitude and outlook on life which attracts whoever she meets. She has nearly 25,000 followers on Instagram where she keeps posting her latest dance moves or photo shoots.
Anmol was left to die by her father Ashraf after the attack but neighbours had rushed her and her mother to hospital. While her mother Annu succumbed to injuries, Anmol was under care of doctors and nurses for five long years.
Once her wounds healed to a certain degree, she was handed over to Shree Manav Seva Sangh, an orphanage where she was raised up among other children and given education.
Anmol spent her whole life at an orphanage in Mumbai, India. She was told how her father doused her and her late mom with acid and left them to die.
‘While no one hated me, initially they were scared of my face but gradually, as we grew older, I made many friends. But outside orphanage it was always difficult.
‘In college I excelled in studies but had no friend. I was a loner who would eat lunch alone and have no one talk to.
‘Girls would find it strange that I loved fashion and always wore trendy clothes. Some would keep staring at me while others would be curious to know what happened to my face.
‘I wish my mother was alive. Not that I am not thankful for the orphanage for shaping up my life, I miss mother’s love. I would have a friend in her who would love me unconditionally.’
After she finished her college two years ago, Anmol moved out of the orphanage and has since been living on her alone.
She makes £117 a month from giving her ideas to make creative sets for the shows and spends money on her stylish dresses and saves a little for her NGO.
Anmol gets in touch with women leaders and politicians to arrange work opportunities for girls like her.
She says: ‘I have always loved fashion. I am quite trendy and love to dress up.