Bhubaneswar: Rain failed to dampen the spirits of acid attack survivors, who brushed off nerves to stride the runway, at KIAH Fashion Show last evening.
Parichay Foundation, in its 10th years, had organised the second edition of the fashion show, one of its signature events, dedicated to raise funds for a cause.
The evening started with performance by six girls under the foundation’s Alaknanda Scholarship Programme. They danced to a Bollywood number choreographed by Prachitara.
The acid attack survivors had come all the way from Sheroes Café in Agra and Lucknow, managed by Delhi-based Chhanv Foundation. The ladies walked the ramp to whoops and cheers in beautiful clothes designed by Swikirti Pradhan, under the label- Rustic hue.
Popular Bollywood actress Tisca Chopra was the star attraction of the evening and seemed extremely joyful walking the ramp with the survivors.
In an interaction with Odisha Sun Times, she spoke about how hassle free the event in Bhubaneswar was, in comparison to all the other places she’s been.
When asked about her experience in Odisha, she said, “I am going to come here again. I really wanted to visit the Jaggannth Temple but I don’t have the time. Nonetheless, it’s been one of the best experiences. These women, the survivors, they inspire me a lot. We are all fighters and survivors somewhere, I believe. In a word, my experience here was joyful!”.
This was also Odisha-born Promodini Roul’s first ramp show in her state. Its only been three months since she was operated on one of her eyes and can now see her world, which was disfigured by a spurned lover when she was only 16. Without any bitterness, she picked up the pieces of life and now married to Saroj Sahoo, who helped her get back on her feet, literally. “The attack not just left me disfigured, but I also lost by eyesight. Infection in legs affected my movement. I had lost all hopes to walk again. But Saroj was always positive. Today if I am walking it’s all because of him,” she said.
For the fashion show, she had asked the designer for clothes in Odisha handloom. “I loved the saree and the dress. For all eight girls from Sheroes Café, this was a beautiful experience,” she said.
Promodini wishes to open a branch of Sheroes Café, which gave her the confidence to lead a normal life again, in Odisha.
She has just one message for the society: “Every individual has the right to be happy and girls bruised in acid attack should not be treated as unwanted.”
Another acid attack survivors, Madhu, also shared her feelings. She said, “I have been to many shows but never felt so happy! I can’t express the joy I feel here. Thanks to everyone”.
Appreciating the effort and their fight spirit, Parichay Foundation donated Rs 1 lakh to the survivors.
“I am really grateful to all acid attack survivors who came forward for this beautiful cause. This was our signature event to raise funds for Alaknanda Scholarship Programme, which is meant exclusively for drop out girl students. Girl education is our priority and I want our well-wishers to help us take this cause forward,” says Rosalin Patsani Mishra, founder member of Parichay Foundation.
The scholarship programme, which was started last year, adopted 59 underprivileged girls in the first batch and 60 more girls have been identified in the second phase.