Indian acid attack survivors pose at the end of a fashion show organised by the "Make Love Not Scars" NGO in New Delhi on November 25, 2017. (AFP Photo)
New Delhi: Nine women disfigured by acid became defiant models Saturday at the first haute couture fashion show for the survivors of the growing scourge of acid attacks in India.
The women, nearly all victims of husbands or close family, paraded in gowns donated by top Indian designers including Rohit Bal, Ranna Gill and Archana Kochhar. None covered their face.
"I was very nervous," said Meena Khatoon, mother of a young son after her venture down the catwalk. But the New Delhi woman, who was attacked by her ex-husband, insisted she had a point to prove.
"People often looked away when I went outside. They would walk in the opposite direction when they saw me. I would face a lot of problems," Khatoon told AFP.
"But then one day I thought, if that's the way you think, so be it. I have to build my life, I want my son to study and I have to support him." Khatoon now runs her own small business fixing mobile phones.
She has been helped by Make Love Not Scars which organised the New Delhi show. The group helps survivors reconstruct their lives and in many cases their faces.