Acid attack survivor walks runway in New York Fashion Week

CCTV News

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Nineteen year old Reshma Banoo Qureshi walked the runway at New York Fashion Week and being at the epicenter of the fashion world wasn’t a place she ever expected to be.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

Acid attack survivor walks runway in New York Fashion Week

Acid attack survivor walks runway in New York Fashion Week

Nineteen year old Reshma Banoo Qureshi walked the runway at New York Fashion Week and being at the epicenter of the fashion world wasn’t a place she ever expected to be. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

The confidence she displayed on the catwalk is in sharp contrast to how she felt two years ago after being attacked with acid by her brother-in-law and two of his friends.

“When it happened, I had very bad thoughts go through my mind. I thought that a face is everything. I cried a lot and threatened everyone at home to end my life. Then I realized that a face isn’t everything. A person’s heart and mind should also be beautiful,” Qureshi said.

According to the Acid Survivors Trust there are 1,500 acid attacks globally per year but the number is likely much higher as many incidents go unreported for fear of reprisal. 

The problem is currently most acute in India where women are disproportionately the victims, scarred physically for life and psychologically damaged.

For Qureshi, her will to live come after developing a friendship with the founder of “Make Love Not Scars,” an organization that helps victims pay for surgeries and is pushing for a ban on the open sale of acid. 

That friendship brought her to New York for this fashion show sponsored by Global Disability Inclusion, which hopes to see more people with disabilities and disfigurements featured in marketing campaigns. 

President Meg O’Connell said it not only has a positive impact on disabled people but also makes good business sense. 

“They buy houses and cars and toothpaste. You know this is about showing the world there’s an incredible market opportunity in people with disabilities. Globally, it’s a one trillion dollar market opportunity so it’s numbers that can’t be ignored.” Global Disability Inclusion President, Meg O’Connell said.

It’s also about showing the world that beauty comes in all forms.