In the age of biopics, Deepika Padukone is all set to make yet another impactful one – Chhapaak, directed by Meghna Gulzar. The Padmavat actor will play Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor. The movie will depict events from Laxmi’s life, especially the defining tragedy that eventually became her strength. The veritable queen of Bollywood has done extensive research to do complete justice to her role as Malti, the character based off on Laxmi. But who was she and how did she become a victim to a vicious acid attack? Here’s everything we need to know about Laxmi Agarwal. Deepika Padukone to Play an Acid Attack Survivor in Her Next, Says “When I Heard This Story, I Was Deeply Moved”.
Laxmi is one of India's best-known acid attack survivors and is the director of Chhanv Foundation and India-based Stop Acid Attacks campaign. She was attacked in the year 2005 when she was just 15-years-old by a man named Gudda who threw acid at her face to seek vengeance. He was a long-time stalker, twice her age and he threw a beer bottle full of acid at her. Along with the face, other parts of her body were also disfigured during the attack. Although she received immediate treatment, she had to go through multiple surgeries over a span of a few years. Chhapaak First Look Out! Deepika Padukone's 'Malti' Will Give You Another Reason to Adore and Respect Her - View Pic.
But other than the physical damage, it was the mental agony that came with it, which depressed Laxmi. It was heart-breaking for her to even look at herself in the mirror, but she gathered the courage to campaign for the cause of acid attack victims. She managed to put the culprit behind bars and her PIL paved the way to a new law. Other than just asking for compensation, she brought about an amendment to the existing criminal laws like IPC, Indian Evidence Act and Criminal Procedure Code dealing with the offence. She also brought an important change with regards to the sale of acid. A ban was imposed on the sale of acid to minors and also a photo identity card would be compulsory for buying.
Laxmi Agarwal was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by Michelle Obama. But with it came another tragedy that hit her family; she lost both her brother and father in the same year. She started the Stop Acid Attack campaign with a journalist Alok Dixit, who she was in love with. The two decided to live-in together to avoid all the negative comments that would come from the guests. The two even had a daughter named Pihu in the year 2015. Here's What Acid Attack Survivor Laxmi Agarwal Has To Say About Deepika Padukone Playing Her In The Biopic.
Things were still not bright for her as the couple separated, citing mutual differences. She had the custody of Pihu but not enough money to support her. Alok Dixit too did not contribute to raising their child and nor were there funds from the non-profits. Despite voicing so much for the cause, her recent statement to a Hindustan Times report was heart-breaking. "I have no money. I just don’t. You can check my bank account, and it doesn’t even have Rs 5000. This is how we activists live. I don’t have a regular job, and all the money that my NGO gets is spent in taking care of acid attack survivors," she was quoted.
Her plight was once again heard and she received assistance from everyone. A trained beautician, she was welcomed by a makeup academy for a job, who also promised to help in funding her daughter's education. In all her downs, she still had hope and stood strong and showed courage which is commendable. It will be now interesting to see if Deepika Padukone's film will do all the justice to this strong woman.