When five women visited a cubicle-sized tattoo parlour, tucked in the green environs of Hauz Khas Village, it wasn’t their clothes, but their scars that garnered much attention. These acid-attack survivors, for the first time, went to get inked and learn the art of tattoo making.
Referring to the scars of her body, acid-attack survivor, Laxmi says, “When I was told that we can learn tattoo-making, I thought, our bodies are already tattooed, what’s the need for this? But then, this art might be a good medium to create jobs for us and even raise awareness to stop acid attacks.”
The experience to get inked began with Rupa, opting for her mother’s name to be written on her forearm. With inhibitions gradually dying down, soon all made a beeline to get tattooed. “I’m planning to open my own beauty salon and if I’m able to also create tattoos then my clientele will be happy,” says Soniya, another acid attack survivor.
Tattoo expert Vikas Malani, who spearheaded the day-long activity says, “On Women’s Day, while thinking about my late mother, I saw a picture that I could connect with.Later that I found out that the girl in the photograph was Laxmi – the acid attack survivor. I had decided to bring a smile on their faces and it’s only now that I have been able to accomplish that.I inspired them to learn the art and become tattoo artists themselves,” says Malani, who has offered the survivors to get trained under him.
After the day-long workshop, two survivors - Ritu and Madhu – showed interest in learning further and providing tattoo-making facility at Sheroes café – operated by acid attack survivors. After discussing and selecting a few among themselves, they along with a few others plan to come back to pursue this passion and get trained in the art.
I know that tattoos can even help me hide my scars. But I won’t do that because these scars are my identity and till the time I’m alive, I want the society to see them and feel ashamed about them.
Laxmi says, “I have got a tattoo of a fairy aiming for a crescent moon; on my forearm. I know that tattoos can even help me hide my scars. But I won’t do that because these scars are my identity and till the time I’m alive, I want the society to see them and feel ashamed about them.”
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