Anmol Rodriguez was two months old when her father, furious at his wife for having a girl, assaulted them with acid. The terrifying event when Anmol was being breastfed claimed her mother’s life, but the brave little child somehow pulled through. She survived the crime with a deformed face and even lost an eye. Anmol says, “I spent five years in the hospital because no one from my parent’s side came to care for me. I was raised and well-cared for by medical workers and nurses, who later sent me to an orphanage for my upbringing”.

Rodriguez’s chance at leading a typical life was destroyed by her mother’s passing and her father’s imprisonment. The woman, who is now a social media star, recalls growing up at the orphanage as a period full of joy and optimism. “Back then, there were no difficulties. I was a really intelligent child, in truth, and we were instructed to concentrate on our studies there. I was one of the beloved kids because of my contagious joy,” she beams. 

Anmol’s life, however, changed when she entered college. She was bullied for having a deformed face which got her into sheer depression. At that point, her professor Kiran Gandhi helped her recognise her value and gave her a fresh outlook on life. Anmol recalls her teachers’ words, “The society will one day view you as a hero if you continue to follow your passion and objective and become what you want to be.” Anmol followed her promise, devoted all her energy to fulfilling her goals, and graduated from university. She recalls a day when she aced her first job interview.

Image Credit : Her Zindagi

But time was challenging for Anmol in her first job. Within two months, she was expelled from her first job because her face was the cause of distress among her colleagues. This had a significant effect on her personal life. She found it challenging to continue mentally and financially, but she never gave up.

“Before I was let loose in the actual world, I had no idea that I was unique. All of my memories of my orphanage are positive. I had four close friends, and I never imagined that I would be treated any differently than them,” she recalled.

Rodriguez eventually discovered agency in social media, a platform that is genuinely democratic, as opposed to being a passive victim of her circumstances. “I was the first victim of an acid attack to post pictures of herself online. Facebook was the most popular tool at the time. At first, my pals didn’t think it was a good idea. They believed that I would be mocked. Yet, I received gratitude and kind comments in return,” said Anmol.

Image Credit : Her Zindagi

The power lady is now recognised as a social media influencer, model and has 122k Instagram followers and a large global fan base. She has worked with various brands, served as the star of many fashion presentations, and even starred alongside Shabana Azmi in the short film Auntie Ji (2018), which earned her the Casttree Film Festival’s 2018 ‘Best Performance Female’ award.

Who said we need to empower women who are already too powerful within themselves? 

Rodriguez’s struggle is a perfect example of power and courage. She has implied to the world that if a woman wants, she can conquer all she wants no matter how well situations around her pull her back.

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