The extraordinary story of Laxmi Agarwal acid attack survivor and how she rose to become a fighter for justice

Let us dive into the Tale if a fighter: Laxmi Agarwal acid attack survivor and fighter

Most people go through a tragic moment in their lives which changes them. Some problems may be big as some may be small. But the outcome of that moment depends on us. Some become stronger because of that incident as some become weak. If we come across such moments then we must aspire to become the strong one. Something similar happened to Laxmi Agarwal and she rose to be the strong one after the incident. 

Laxmi Agarwal is the true inspiration behind the movie “Chhapaak” by Deepika Padukone. The movie is based on true events that happened in the life of Laxmi Agarwal. 

Laxmi Agarwal story: Who is Laxmi Agarwal?

Laxmi agarwal acid attack
  • Save
Image Source:

Laxmi Agarwal is an Indian Anchor, activist, and most importantly a survivor. In 2005, when she was just 15 years of age, Laxmi Agarwal was attacked with acid on her face by a 32-year-old man named Naeem Khan. The reason for this attack was because Laxmi refused his marriage proposal. 

This incident was a huge turning point in Laxmi’s life. Currently, she is the founder of the ‘Stop Sale Acid’ campaign. The motive of this campaign is to stop the sale of acid so that in future there will be no acid violence and people mostly girls can roam around without fear. 

Laxmi Agarwal family and early life

Laxmi Agarwal was a regular Indian girl. Her birthday is on 1st June 1990. She was born and raised in Delhi with her brother Anurag Chauhan. She was from a middle-class family with dreams of becoming a singer when she grew up. She loved Indian reality shows like ‘Indian Idol’ and ‘Sare Gama pa’ and wanted to take part in those shows. 

Laxmi attended Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya school and also worked as a part-timer in a book store after school. As Laxmi’s life was turned upside down when she was just 15 years old, she didn’t attend school after that instead went on programs, held campaigns, and fought for justice.   

Laxmi Agarwal acid attack story and dark days followed by that incident

In 2005, she was waiting for the bus in New Delhi to go to work. The area was crowded. As she was waiting someone tapped on her back. She turned to look at that person and immediately that person threw acid on her face and ran into the crowd. 

Immediately after that liquid touched her face she felt a sharp burn on her skin. Her skin began to melt due to the acid. She fell into the ground screaming and shouting in pain. Laxmi was in great pain and continuously screamed for help as people were just watching her cry in pain. After some time, a taxi driver rushed to help her and took her to the hospital.

In the hospital, the doctors continuously poured 20 buckets of water on her. Her parents rushed to the hospital and doctors announced that she will not survive. But Laxmi was a fighter and she proved the doctors wrong. Laxmi had to be admitted to the hospital for over 2 months for her recovery.

Emotionally challenging and Painful Recovery

During the 2 months in hospital, Laxmi underwent seven surgeries. After that, Laxmi didn’t have enough courage to look into the mirror. After months she finally looked into the mirror only to look at a disfigured face. She was disgusted with her face and went through trauma. Even after she reached home, neighbors would talk ill about her. They would talk like “ who will marry her now”, “she is better off dead”, “she is just a load for the family now’.

The view of her own face and the view of society was a torture for her. Devastated, she even attempted suicide. But in these hard times, her dad kept supporting and motivating her. 

laxmi before and after real photo
  • Save
Laxmi Agarwal before and after the attack

Through the little support by people around her, she made herself stronger. Slowly by taking one step at a time she started embracing her. She believed nothing is impossible in this world. Even though it took her some time to overcome the trauma, she was destined to take charges for that man who ruined her life. 

The acid case and campaign to ban the sale of acid

In 2006 she made her first move. Laxmi filed public interest litigation in the Supreme Court of India for the ban on sales of acid and compensation for acid attack victims as other similar cases were also rising. Finally, in 2013, the court took a step on acid sale restriction and compensation to acid victims by the government. 

As per the rules, only licensed people can sell acid and while selling it, the shopkeepers have to record all information related to the acid buyer. 

Eventually, her acid attack case also took place. They found out the attacker to be Laxmi’s lover and after a session in court, he was sentenced to jail for 10 years. Unfortunately, the attacker was bailed after 1 month in jail. The attacker then had a normal life after destroying hers. But at this point, Laxmi was not scared anymore. Furthermore, Laxmi said, “He should be scared of me now.”

As Laxmi was in the process of raising awareness about acid attacks, she came across NGO’s Stop Acid Attacks program. Their motive was to support victims and survivors of acid attacks. She contacted them and soon was working for them. There were many enthusiastic people working together for justice and care. This was where she first met Alok Dixit. 

Personal Life: Laxmi Agarwal partner and daughter Pihu

Laxmi agarwal husband and daughter Pihu
  • Save
Image Sorce:

Laxmi Agarwal and Alok Dixit fell in love as they worked together in various programs. Alok Dixit is also a social activist just like Laxmi. The couple however didn’t marry instead decided to be in a live-in relationship. Later they welcomed a little angel into their lives. They had a baby daughter and named her Pihu. 

Awards and accomplishments

Laxmi Agarwal received the International Women of Courage in 2014 which was awarded by none other than Michelle Obama. In 2013 she also started the ‘Stop acid attack’ campaign which is now called the ‘Chhanv Foundation’. Through this act, she has reached out to thousands of acid attack victims and help them with their treatment. 

She is also invited to various programs where she shares her story. Laxmi is also a motivational speaker, she has inspired thousands of people through her speeches. 

Laxmi Agarwal movie from Real to Reel: ‘Chhapak’

Laxmi Agarwal movie and Deepika padukone
  • Save
Laxmi Agarwal and Deepika Padukone

The movie ‘Chhapaak’ is entirely based on her true-life story. Deepika Padukone has played Laxmi Agarwal in the movie. The idea and motive behind this movie are to raise awareness about acid attacks in India. This movie was released to show a real incident that can happen in anyone’s life. 


Like Laxmi Agarwal, there are many other people who are victims of acid attack. Sadly, there are attackers among us but there are also fighters like Laxmi Agarwal among us. Let us all lift our spirits after hearing Laxmi Agarwal’s story and be inspired by it. Let us teach this and upcoming generation to be a survivor and a fighter. 



Leave a Reply