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Monica Singh

Motivatational Speaker | UN Women Youth Champion | Founder & President of Mahendra Singh Foundation

At age 19, I suffered an acid attack in 2005. With the love and support of my family and 46 reconstructive plastic surgeries later, I was finally able to find the strength in me to share with the world my story. I was pursuing my dream of becoming a fashionista when the attack happened. Against all odds and with the help of my family's unwavering support I stayed focussed to complete my degree in Fashion Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India. My father, Mr. Mahendra Singh was the biggest believer in me and spent his life savings trying to give a nurtured and as close to a normal life as I could get. His passing away in 2013 ignited in me the passion to share the love that I received and I decided to play a consciously active part to spread awareness about the abuse. After a successful crowd-funding program and scholarships based on my skills, I was accepted to do Fashion Marketing from prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. We- me along with my brother Nikhil Singh- founded 'Mahendra Singh Foundation' (MSF) to honor the memory of my father and to give voices to innumerable others who lost themselves suffering from violent abuses. We, at MSF, strive to help provide emotional, medical and legal foundation to victims of violent abuses- acid attacks, domestic violence and rape to name a few. There has been an increasing number of acid attacks in recent times world over. We want to spread awareness and educate people on how it changes the lives of survivors.

Monica Singh

10 Years After My Acid Attack, I'm Living My Dream

Ten years ago, I was a 19-year-old girl living in Lucknow. I had big dreams of becoming someone well-known in the fashion industry -- as the cliché goes, "small town big dreams". All my life I received many compliments for my confidence, my poise, my outgoing personality and my beauty. I was usually the most desirable girl in school, but apart from just my looks, I was thought to have enormous potential for creativity.
06/08/2015 8:19 AM IST