Entertainment

Laxmi Agarwal: On the ramp for social change

“It feels great. I was very confident on the ramp,” says an excited Laxmi Agarwal, minutes after she walked as a showstopper for a designer who shares her sensibilities. Laxmi Shriali Sood chose her namesake inspired by the Stop Acid Sales movement. “We want to use her message to reach a larger audience.”

The acid-attack survivor got the loudest cheers from the audience as she closed Laxmi Shriali Sood’s show, in a Morroccan-inspired lehenga. The Indian Federation for Fashion Development (IFFD) hosted the eleventh season of the fashion week. Excerpts from the conversation.

What does fashion mean for you?

For me fashion is an avenue to change people’s mindsets. Through this show, we are saying that fashion is inclusive I am telling people that designer outfits can be worn by women who have been at the receiving end of a crime. So we are changing mindsets in a big way. This is very heartening for me. Please see the survivors from a fresh perspective.

How do you feel about the movie being made on you?

It feels great that Chaapaak, directed by Meghna Gulzar, will see Deepika Padukone playing me on the big screen. When a celebrity of the stature of Deepika accepts such a project, she not only extends support to this cause, but also creates awareness. I am sure she will bring about a huge transformation in the way people perceive survivors. In this biopic, she will speak for all survivors of acid attacks. After watching this film, many survivors will reveal their stories. If more such films from Bollywood are made then people know about the darker side of our society.

You were part of the London Fashion Week and this was your third show at India Runway Week. Do you participate in fashion weeks to raise your voice?

It helps me to raise my voice on behalf of so many victims. Now the media is supporting me in a big way. This has resulted in heightened awareness and today so many fashion lovers clapped for me when I walked on the ramp. This was my seventh show at a fashion week.

How successful have you been as campaigner with Stop Sale Acid?

I started this campaign last year. I was told that my one-minute video can change the lives of scores of people. The best part is that it did strike a chord with the masses. Twenty thousand people watched this video. So many shopkeepers stopped selling acid. I would like to take this forward and also try to rope in those running the administration of our country.

Laxmi Shriali Sood’s spring-summer line has laser-cut fabrics, three-dimensional hand-crafted embellishments and intricate thread work, fashioned into Indo-Western silhouettes. Available at Shop no. 100, Meharchand Market; lehenga-blouse-jacket sets ₹57,000 upwards

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:17:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/laxmi-agarwal-on-the-ramp-for-social-change/article26700046.ece

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