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Indian acid attack survivor woos New York runway

Sending a powerful message of resilience and courage, an Indian teenager, whose face was brutally disfigured in an acid attack, walked the runway at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, winning hearts with her message that beauty is not skin deep.

Reshma Qureshi, 19, was invited to take part in the bi-annual fashion week by fashion production company FTL Moda. Qureshi wore a floor-length white gown with floral prints by Indian designer Archana Kochhar and was greeted with cheers and applause as she confidently walked the ramp on Thursday. She describes it as a life-changing experience.

Backstage, as she was getting ready to walk in two shows, video cameras and photographers thronged around her. “It feels very nice,” Qureshi said, speaking in Hindi. She stressed that it is important for people to know “the story about acid attack survivors and that they too can lead normal lives.” 

Qureshi said the message she wants to send across is that people should not be judged based on their appearance. “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” said Qureshi, who lost an eye in the attack.

“I want to tell the world that do not see us in a weak light. Even we can go out and do things,” said Qureshi, who was attacked by her brother-in-law in 2004. 
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