A calendar featuring acid-attack victims was the latest project of Photographer Rahul Saharan. He aimed to create awareness and help raise funds for survivors of acid attacks.
The calendar, solely featuring models that are survivors of acid attacks, was created in honor of International Women's Day. The women featured in the calendar are not what people are accustomed to when it comes to models as they do represent a different kind of beauty. They run a small café in Agra, India called Sheroes' Hangout.
The cafe itself is part of the movement to stop acid attacks, with the company explaining that it is far more than just a hangout, but is a readers cafe, an activism workshop, a community radio hub, and an exhibit space, where works crafted by Sheroes will be on display.
Although the country does not formally keep count, in India alone, it is estimated that there are around 1,000 acid attacks annually. Young women are targeted for a number of reasons, from simply denying unwanted attention from men to wanting a better education.
"Acid-attack survivors get rejected everywhere because of their scarred faces," says New Delhi-based Stop Acid Attacks (SAA) founder, Alok Dixit. "The idea behind this calendar was to spur a debate on the widespread discrimination among women based on their looks."
SAA was inaugurated as a Facebook campaign and has connected with more than 70 acid-attack survivors and has guided and supported them with their legal fights, medical aid and emotional battles. The campaign is supported completely through crowd funding and also runs a three-bedroom home that provides free food and lodging to every acid-attack survivor who is in New Delhi for treatment.