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Brave & Beautiful Survivors of Horrific Acid Attacks Unite for Fashion Shoot

By Hanssie on August 14th 2014

All the photoshopped Sports Illustrated and Victoria Secret models you see in any given magazine have NOTHING on these five beautiful Indian ladies featured in the following fashion photo shoot. Sorry not sorry, Kate Upton.


Rupa, Rita, Sonam, Laxmi and Chanchal are all survivors of brutal acid attacks. Acid attacks are common occurrences in India – approximately, 1000 people, mainly girls are attacked each year. Assailants use acid as a weapon and throw them in the faces of their victims with the purpose to maim, blind, or kill them. These attacks are vicious and the acid is easy to obtain. 22 year old Rupa dropped her surname when she disowned her father for supporting her stepmother after her stepmother threw acid on Rupa’s face. For years, she hid her disfigured face in shame. Until now.

“I always wanted to be a designer but after the attack there was a pause in my life. I was so insecure and embarrassed by my scars, I used to cover my face with a scarf. I always hung onto my dream but I never knew that one day it would be possible and I would be launching my own label.”

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The five beautiful ladies have posed for a fashion shoot wearing designs from Rupa’s new clothing collection, Rupa’s Designs. Teaming up with “Stop Acid Attacks,” a charity  who helps survivors acclimate back into society and helps them rebuild their self worth. Photographed by Rahul Saharan (who donated his services to Chhoan, a support center run by the charity), these five ladies have decided to no longer hide their faces and live their lives with their head held high, in dignity.


Rupa tells Daily Mail, “It was a wonderful shoot. I’m a very shy girl, but Rahul made it easy and comfortable for us all to face the camera with pride.” Rahul has worked with the charity for over 2 and a half years and said, “I kept telling the girls “don’t let others tell you what beauty is, you yourself are beautiful, every woman is beautiful.” He is planning on setting up an exhibition with proceeds going to help survivors.

This photo shoot is my tribute to all the brave women across the globe who have gone through this gruesome torture. I’m glad that I could do my part in supporting them.

Rupa-2 Rupa-4 Rupa-5 RUpa-6Watch an interview with Rupa below:

You can find out more about the charity, Stop Acid Attacks, check out their website.

To support Rupa and her dream to set up a dress shop and become financially independent, check out the BitGiving page or the IndieGoGo page (if you’re in the US).

You can connect with photographer Rahul Saharan via his Facebook.

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Rahul Saharan are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[via Daily Mail UK]


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Kitchen

    I keep hearing about these attacks, and every time I’m still shocked that it’s still happening. Good to see more effort is happening to make people aware of it!

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  2. Wendell Fernandes

    That’s Incredible

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  3. Reynardt Badenhorst

    I hate looking at these things. With all due respect, I take my hat of to these girls but what world do we live in for people to do things like this??? Just upsets me!

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  4. Rich Taylor

    Incredible. Cruel World, yet they still smile. Great post.

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  5. Sean John Zanderecza

    this is sickening me!! why would somebody do that towards someone else!? so called “adults” with mentality lesser than animal.. my heart & support goes to the victim.. also the photographer did a great job by placing values on them (which as a photographer myself, i want people that i photograph feel beautiful & valued), something that they might thought they had lost.. thank you for sharing this..

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  6. Austin Swenson

    I have never heard of this kind of violence before… It’s sad that it happens to women most often, that just makes me all kind of mad. If this ever happened to my wife, I really don’t know how I would respond.

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  7. Jordan Draffin

    This is incredible. What a fantastic story of resilience and an inspiring group of woman. It is seriously unfortunate that this act of violence towards women (men as well) is so prevalent.

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  8. Ben Perrin

    Who would do such a thing? I hope the people who attacked them are spending the rest of their lives in jail. Good luck to these women.

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    Thank you for sharing and am happy to see those beautiful ladies so brave

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  10. Al cu

    Speechless , Thank you

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  11. Rui Pinto

    Wow… It’s really incredible to see what the human being is capable of. Thanks for sharing this with us Hanssie!

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    • Hanssie

      You’re welcome and I totally agree. Scary the things that happen around the world and to see the human spirit stand up in the face of unspeakable horrors is inspirational!

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