“Denied justice, she pleaded publicly to end her life. Denied that too because euthanasia is illegal in the country, she decided not to remain silent and suffer. Her story is one of immense courage. The nation salutes her as do all of us, but simultaneously hangs its head in shame for this dastardly act.”
Those were the words of Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan, host of India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? when he saluted the courage of Sonali Mukherjee, 27, for appearing on the popular TV quiz show.
Sonali, was 17-years at the time of a horrific acid by a spurned suitor and his friends – the attack has left the once beautiful and promising student completely disfigured by the attack which has resulted in her family spending all their money funding her treatment.
Sonali who appeared on the hit show with Bollywood actress and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, won the top prize of Rs 25 lakhs – the equivalent of almost £30,000 which will pay for another round of plastic surgery.
Sonali, who has undergone surgery 22 times since the 2003 attack, said that the win was the perfect treatment for her wounds.
Her attackers broke into her home and poured acid on her as she slept.
She remains partially blind and deaf as a result of her injuries.