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Anmol Rodriguez: Acid attack survivor at two months, model and inspiration at 23

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Two-month-old Anmol Rodriguez was being breastfed by her mother when her father doused both of them with acid. Anmol lost an eye but survived.

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Anmol Rodriguez was two months old when her father doused her with a can of acid. He wanted to kill her as he preferred a male child. Her mom, who was breastfeeding her then, succumbed but Anmol survived, although she had to undergo treatment for the next five years. Due to the intensity of her injuries, she ended up losing one eye and being permanently disfigured.

 

Fast forward 23 years later and Anmol is full of life and happiness, running an NGO to help other acid attack survivors. She is also a model and aspiring actor with more than one lakh Instagram followers. 

But all this did not come easy to Anmol, who was brought up in an orphanage in Mumbai. Making friends or even mingling with kids her age was in itself a struggle in the initial days.

Talking about those days to the Daily Mail, she said, “I was too young and never understood why I looked different from others at the hospital. But when I came to the orphanage I realised children were different than me. While no one hated me, initially they were scared of my face. Gradually, as we grew older, I made many friends. But outside the orphanage, it was always difficult.”

Throughout her college days, Anmol was known for her acute sense of fashion. Using that as her strength, she started modelling for some YouTube channels and Instagram pages. She also made her debut recently in a short film. Her aim is to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model. However, her dreams don’t end there. 

I want to become the first commercial acid attack survivor model who can not just promote fashion but also spread awareness that acid does not end life. Acid can only change our face but not ruin our soul. We are the same inside out and we should accept who we are and live our lives happily,” she said.

Staying true to her words, the NGO founded by her – Acid Survivor Sahas Foundation – aims at providing counselling and employment opportunities to victims of acid attacks, to enable them to take care of their needs.

Anmol had to recently quit her job because her co-workers did not want to see a disfigured face every day. She is also trolled often on social media for her looks. But she does not let it bother her and instead chooses to stay happy and keep inspiring people around her. 

Article Credit : NewIndianExpress

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Endangered species are key to our survival

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Animal, plant and marine biodiversity keep our ecosystems functional.

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Last week, India submitted its sixth national report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The report was a mixed one: While the country is on track to meet most of its national biodiversity targets, the bad news is that the list of animal species from the country under the international ‘red list’ in the critically endangered, endangered and threatened categories has been increasing over the years. It is clear that there is severe stress on biodiversity and wild habitats. The report states that India is working on preventing the extinction of species by developing a landscape- and seascape-based approach. This aims at holistic, systemic approaches to integrate biodiversity concerns with social and economic values and development aspirations. The endangered species (birds and animals) in conservation priority include the Asian wild buffalo, Asiatic lion, Brow-antlered deer or Sangai, Dugong, Edible Nest swiftlet, Gangetic river dolphin, Great Indian bustard, Hangul, Indian rhino or Great one-horned rhinoceros, Jerdon’s courser, Malabar civet, Marine turtles, Nicobar megapode, Niligiri tahr, snow leopard, swamp deer and vultures.

The stress on India’s wildlife is increasing by the day. Almost every other day, there are reports of cases of man-animal conflict, thanks to the increasing human population and urbanisation. Just as often, there are reports of or animal deaths from accidents because project developers don’t take into account animal corridors while building infrastructure. Wildlife crime is also becoming a key threat due to the increased demand for wildlife derivatives ranging from tiger and leopard bones to pangolin scales and bear bile. India recorded 460 leopard deaths in 2018, the highest mortality rate of the big cat species in the country in the last four years, the Wildlife Protection Society of India said in December.

How does the loss of species alter ecosystems? The loss of iconic species is a tragedy with broad and deep impact. Animal, plant and marine biodiversity keeps ecosystems functional. Healthy ecosystems allow us to survive, get enough food to eat and make a living. When species disappear or fall in number, ecosystems and people — especially the world’s poorest — suffer. A recent study published in Nature reveals the extinction of plant or animal species from extreme environmental change, which we are witnessing now, increases the risk of an “extinction domino effect” that could annihilate all life on Earth.

Unfortunately, as this paper reported earlier this year, India might not meet the international target of identifying wildlife and marine-protected areas by 2020, making the challenge of conserving species much more difficult.

Article Credit : HT

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