Deepika Padukone’s movie Chhapaak which was released on Friday and is based on real-life acid survivor Laxmi Agarwal, has a deep connection with the Sheroes Cafe in Lucknow.
The acid attack survivors working at this cafe went together to watch the movie on Friday. Two of them, in fact, have also acted in the movie. They laughed and cried while they watched their own story on the silver screen.
Lucknow’s Sheroes hangout, run by Ambedkar Memorial Park, currently employs 14 acid attack survivors. Their life has totally changed after the training they received from the memorial and women welfare department.
Rupali, an acid attack survivor from UP’s Ghazipur, who also watched the movie on Friday, said she was attacked on a film set in 2015 and perpetrators have not been caught yet.
“This cafe has changed my life. We are known for our grit, skill and courage. I want the film ‘Chhapaak’ to be a huge hit as it will make people aware of what happened to us,” she said.
Another girl at the cafe who also watched the movie was Reshma, who was attacked by her husband. She cried when she watched the movie and said she has understood the meaning of her life after working in the cafe.
“The film is an eye-opener for those who don’t know what happened to us,” Reshma said.
“We don’t get salary on time here as Women Welfare Department has withheld a lot of money. But this is our livelihood. Here I got a lot of opportunity to learn and study,” another girl from the cafe said.
The Sheroes Cafes, an entrepreneurial project started to help the survivors in their career by training and preparing them for the future, are run by these women, who have proven themselves to be stronger and bigger than their cowardly attackers and to make sure that they won’t be dependent on anyone for their livelihood.