Acid mutilated models from IndiaVika
India is an exotic country that attracts millions of tourists every year. This is one of the largest economies in the world, which is included in the group of twenty - the G20. But who knows that India is the worst place on earth for women? Women in this country are sold as objects, girls are given in marriage at the age of 10, some are burned alive, made slaves, raped, beaten, and doused with acid for disobedience. Since our heroines, who were mutilated by members of their own families. But now they stopped being victims and hiding their faces, and took part in an advertising campaign for a new collection of clothes. So they decided to fight for women's rights in India.
Watch the advertising photoshoot of these beautiful and courageous women who survived hell in their lives, but did not succumb.
1. The idea for such an advertising campaign belongs to a 22-year-old girl named Rupa from Delhi. Four years ago, her stepmother doused her with acid when she was sleeping and left the girl alone in the house for 6 hours. Her uncle found her and took her to the hospital, and although her stepmother was imprisoned, she was released after 18 months. And Rupa will remain in "his prison" - a disfigured body for the rest of his life. For a long time, Rupa hid under shawls and scarves to hide the terrible and shocking scares. But then I said to myself - that's enough. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
2. Rupa found support at a help center for acid-doused women. She always dreamed of becoming a clothing designer and it was in the center that she began to create her first collection of clothes for women. Previously, Rupa could not even imagine that someday her dream would come true. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
3. Rupa said that she had big problems finding a job, so she decided to open her own firm, which she called “Rupa Design”. While planning an advertising campaign for her clothes, the young designer offered cooperation to women like her, disfigured by acid. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
4. Four girls agreed to stand in front of Rahul Saharan's lens: Rita, Sonam, Lakshmi, and Chanchal. According to the photographer, it was a difficult session. Although the girls approached the filming very professionally, they were still very nervous. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
5. The photographer admires the courage of these women and is proud to be able to help them. “Don't let others tell you what beauty is. Every woman is beautiful, ”said Rahul Saharan, the author of these pictures, to the girls. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
6. Rupa, 22, is currently raising money to open her own boutique in Delhi, which will employ acid-doused women. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
7. The situation of women in India is tragic. They are considered inferior beings. According to the ancient Indian code Manu: “In childhood, a woman obeys her father, in her youth - to her husband, after his death - to her sons; a woman should never be independent. "
In Indian tradition, there is no place for a woman in everyday life without a man. According to local legends, only those whose funeral pyre is set on fire by their son will go to heaven. Only a son can become a support for elderly parents, and a daughter becomes a burden for a family since she will go to her husband and will not help them. And the girl needs to be given a dowry, which sometimes amounts to 5 years of their father's annual income. If the parents cannot pay the promised dowry, then the young spouse will have an "accident", for example, a sari can catch fire from a gas stove. And the young widower immediately starts looking for a new wife and dowry. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
8. Indian society prefers boys. When a woman becomes pregnant, she begins to pray that it will be a boy. The birth of a girl is a punishment, a boy is a reward.
"A country without daughters" - this is how India is now called. According to a study by The Lancet, over the past 30 years, more than 12 million women have had an abortion for just one reason, because they were about to have a baby girl. This shocking practice is already called "female feticide" or genocide of female embryos. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
9. According to statistics, 600,000 girls disappear from India every year. They don't want girls. “Raising a daughter is like watering a neighbor’s garden,” says a popular proverb.
When a baby girl is born, the midwife hurries out of the room. The women persuade the mother to strangle her daughter with a sandbag before the baby starts crying. Daughters are also killed with opium. The newspaper "India Today" wrote that many girls survive only because their mothers were unconscious after giving birth in the state of Rajasthan. According to Indian tradition, it is the mother who must kill her daughter. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
10. India is becoming a country without women. According to the latest census, there is already a huge disproportion between the number of women and men, which is only increasing from year to year. There are only 586 million women out of 624 million men.
Most of these 38 million men, mostly from poor families, will never be able to find a wife. How can this turn out for the country? An army of frustrated and aggressive men without women, according to sociologists, can lead to a serious internal conflict and even a war with China or Pakistan.
Nowadays, not only Indian women but also tourists began to be raped more and more often. And in the northern regions of India, it has become a normal practice to find a wife from afar, who does not know the language and local traditions, who is then raped by all her husband's male relatives. And all because there are no women who were killed in the bud by their own society for them. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
11. Rupa is now helping disabled and acid-mutilated women herself - she works for Stop Acid Attacks. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
12. In India, more than a thousand women are victims of acid attacks every year. As a rule, this is done in revenge by the rejected suitors. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
13. Most recently, the government of the country imposed restrictions on the sale of strong acids. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
14. Stop Acid Attacks has established a unique Chhaon Center for Acid Victims. Women in it not only feel safe but also receive the help that will help them return to normal life.
It was in this center that Rupe was helped to regain her self-confidence and supported her idea of creating her own company. Rupa already has her first orders for clothes. You can support Rupa's project here: bitgiving.com/project/index/id/BIT102. (Photo: Rahul Saharan).
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