How Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli, an acid attack survivor inspires

Kangana Ranaut is a true Indian feminist icon. The irony is that when we talk about her, our focus is more on when she last appeared in front of media and what brands she wore. What we fail to remember is the inspiring story of her sister Rangoli Ranaut, who was on News a few years ago, surviving from a brutal acid-attack at the age of 23.

Rangoli was in the final year at the Uttaranchal College of Science & Technology when an unknown man acid attacked her at her residence in Doon Valley. The attack damaged her face, arms and eyes. When doctors became hopeless after multiple surgeries, the girl came out from that barbaric trauma with inner strength, determination and family support came hand-in-hand. Most of all Kangana.

Also Read: Get inspired: Things to learn from Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor

Here is what we’ve learnt from the badass-sisters about acid attacks and how to cope with the aftermath:

  • Rangoli lost one ear in the incident, went almost blind in one eye, and had a dysfunctional breast despite best possible treatments in the country. She didn’t stop breathing. Though she couldn’t face a mirror for three months, she ensured a recovery with hope and lots of love from her domestic support systems. I guess living is the best vengeance to such horrifying incidents.
  • While many women contemplate suicide as a way out, Rangoli decided to fight back. In an interview with Pinkvilla, Kangana said that our country doesn’t praise the actual heroes. But we think Rangoli  is that voice. After all, when someone survives near death pain, and still doesn’t give up, that person is called a HERO. [Picture by Huff Post]
  • The man who attacked Rangoli was free for two years while her sister was struggling with the pain. YES… the hard truth is we don’t have proper laws in place for attack victims. Acid attack is the most brutal form of attack, and quite popular in India. If we start counting, there will be millions unheard victims. It’s time to stop blaming our country and start living like the sister duo who transformed their pain into strength.
  • Before the attack, Rangoli was the ideal epitome of beauty when in school, big eyes – we heard it straight from her sister. But the attack didn’t blow the dreams of her future away. In fact, she refused to marry her fiancé until she was completely ready, and tied the knot only when she had recovered completely- body and mind. This teaches us to stand by our decisions even in the worst of circumstances, come what may.
  • The Himachali sis-duo has shown remarkable toughness together. As soon as Kangana learnt about the acid attack, she brought her sister to Mumbai to stay with her and to provide her with the best possible post trauma care. After one year of the attack, Rangoli went on to stay with Kangana and simultaneously managed her affairs. Later in 2011, Rangoli got married. The event inspires us to stand up for our sisters, biological and otherwise. In a patriarchy like India where the role of responsibility is naturally imposed on the brothers, we learnt a story of resilient feminism from Kangana- Rangoli.