Earlier it was reported that director Meghna Gulzar has zeroed in the story of the acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal for her next directorial. It was also speculated that Deepika Padukone will be playing the lead in the film and will also be producing it. Now, as per reports in a city based tabloid, the speculations have been confirmed.
Deepika Padukone who was last seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' will next be seen playing Laxmi and will also be producing the yet untitled project. Talking to the tabloid the actress said that when she first heard the story, she was moved by it as it is not just about violence, but is a story of courage, hope and victory.
The protagonist,Laxmi,15, belongs to an underprivileged background. In 2005, she waiting at a bus stop in Delhi,when she was attacked. Her 32-year-old assailant was an acquaintance of the family who harboured a one-sided attraction towards her. It turned into a deadly grouse when the teenager spurned the advances of this unlikely suitor.
The 'Raazi' director said that they are attempting to explore the aspects and the consequences of acid-related violence in our society, through Laxmi's story.
Two years post the incident, Laxmi rarely stepped out of her house. However, in 2006, she filed a PIL seeking the framing of a new law or an amendment to existing criminal laws like IPC, Indian Evidence Act and CrPC which deal with the offence, making a fervent plea for a total ban on the sale of acid. In 2013, in the wake of the Nirbhaya incident, the Supreme Court ruled in her favour. The Section 326 A in the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for acid-throwing. The minimum punishment is 10 years imprisonment which can extend up to life imprisonment with a fine. A separate law to punish offenders in such cases was passed, along with amendment of law on sexual offences.
Today, acid cannot be sold to anyone below 18 years and requires a photo identity card for its purchase. Laxmi is the director of Chhanv Foundation, an NGO dedicated to helping acid attack survivors. She’s opened cafes in Lucknow and Agra managed entirely by these survivors and now goes by the name of Laxmi SAA (Stop Acid Attacks).
The film traces Laxmi's journey over 10 years following the attack, focussing largely on the PIL.
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