After suffering an acid attack in 2005, Laxmi Agarwal rose from the ashes to help other women like her live an independent and dignified life. She refuses to be a victim and instead has championed the crusade against acid attacks in India.
Laxmi now has a movie being made on her fearless spirit. Titled Chhapaak, the film is headlined by Deepika Padukone. The film chronicles the journey of Laxmi and how she fights against acid violence post the horrifying incident.
Laxmi is grateful to Chhapaak director Meghna Gulzar and Deepika for helping her spread awareness about the plight of acid survivors through the film.
"I met Meghna ma'am in 2016. She told me that she wanted to help do something for the cause. Nobody really knew much about acid attack violence before 2013. But when acid survivors actually started coming forward with their stories, people got to know about it. The more survivors are out in the light, the less stigma there will be upon them. I feel today, all those voices have resulted into this movie. I really feel this movie is going to impact the society a lot," Laxmi said.
"I want to thank Deepika that she took on the role of an acid attack survivor. I'm glad that she has shown beauty is actually not (in the face) important. It was extremely important to raise awareness about this cause. I think this movie will help flush out the acid from minds of several people, prejudiced against the survivors," she added.
Laxmi revealed that when she first got to know her life story had been adapted into a movie and Deepika would be portraying her on the big screen, she felt like half the battle was won.
"I was really happy. I thought, 'society ka kaam ho gaya.' I was actually sleeping when the first look of the film came. My Instagram was flooded with congratulatory messages. And, when I saw the look I was like, 'Wow, Laxmi!' I really felt, 'ab insaaf milne wala hai.' This film will definitely change the things," Laxmi said.
Deepika also spoke about why agreeing to do Chhapaak was a no-brainer for her.
"The entire journey and the process has been extremely rewarding. If I may say, it's the film that I have done in my career that I'm the most proud of irrespective of what people say after watching it. I think the fact that we attempted this film that in itself is something that I'm proud of myself. People are calling it a risk, I don't think it's a risk. I think it's been very honest. There are no tricks and games. Meghna has lived with this story for so many years as a human being and as a director. She came to me and I immediately said yes. So, there's been no overthinking. I've done it very instinctively," Deepika said.