Features Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 18, 2014 | 11:01 am IST Rupa, a 21-year-old acid attack survivor, is very close to realising her dream of opening a boutique of her own.  Stop Acid Attacks, (SAA), a Delhi based NGO, that campaigns against acid violence and assists in the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors, has been campaigning to collect funds for Rupa.  SAA has set a total target of Rs 16 lakh- Rs 10 lakh expected to be collected from India and USD 10,000 (approx. Rs 6,00,000) from donors from other countries- for Rupa's project.   The target of $10,000, has already received $13,254, exceeding their aim; there are still 11 days left for contributions from abroad. However, the target of Rs 10,00,000 that SAA had planned to achieve in India is moving at a relatively slow pace. With 35 days left for the deadline to submit contributions, Rs 1,35,758 have been collected so far.  Abhilash Shukla, member SAA, says that the recent photo shoot done to showcase Rupa's dresses was picked up by the international media and that is how they might have achieved part of their goal.  "The scene in India is different. People may not be aware or interested in the cause. Because most of the publicity that SAA garners is through social media, and in India, a significant population still does not have access to such technology", states Shukla.  The budget for Rupa's boutique is clearly broken down on the website, and Shukla says that a lot of their supporters have extended their help in terms of things including raw materials.  If they do receive any surplus donations, SAA would like to invest in e-commerce portals, so that Rupa's dresses have a wider reach. However, there is sometime to go before the dates for contributions end and SAA is hopeful that they will meet their target by then.  Six years ago, Rupa's step mother poured acid over her face. Since then, Rupa has been fighting against all odds, to establish an identity of her own. Read our previous story on Rupa: They stole her face, but her dreams are intact... Rupa an acid attack survivor becomes dress designer Rupa, a professional designer in the making, has always loved stitching. Ever since she came to Chhanv, a shelter home for acid attack survivors, and which is also a part of SAA, she has been working on making dresses that she designs herself. And the appreciation she has received is overwhelming. Rupa has already begun getting contracts from the country and abroad.  Recently, SAA had conducted a photo shoot, which was a roaring success, to showcase Rupa's dresses. Rupa, along with her friends who are also acid attack survivors, were models for the shoot. They were captured on camera by Delhi-based photographer Rahul Saharan. (Rupa, in white, with Ritu: both wearing Rupa's creation during the photo shoot ) Read our story on Rupa's experience of the first photo shoot in her life: Modelling for a purpose: Acid attack survivors in a photo shoot for a collective dream This is a video on Rupa uploaded by BitGiving on YouTube.  For those living in India wishing to help Rupa to achieve her dream of opening a boutique can visit Chhanv Boutique - An Acid Attack Fighter's dream And those abroad who want to fund Rupa's campaign can do it here: Chhanv's Closet - Acid Attack Fighter Rupa's dream (All other information regarding the campaign can also be viewed on the above links)

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