A brave 20-year-old whose face was 'melted off' in her sleep by a jilted stranger has finally regained her confidence.
Anshu Rajput was left partially blind when acid was thrown in her face in an unprovoked attack on February 12 2014.
The café worker claims she was stalked by a man in his 50s who would persistently ask her to marry him before the targeted attack.
But despite telling her parents and the police aged 15, Anshu claims he threatened her after she refused his offers of marriage.
After entering her home at night, Anshu claims the stranger threw acid directly in her face while she was sleeping, something that left her partially blind, unable to speak or eat, and needing numerous skin grafts.
At first she struggled to look at her reflection and all the mirrors in her home were taken down, but now four years later, Anshu is helping others and is feeling happier than ever after joining Stop Acid Attacks - a campaign to end violence against women in India.
Anshu, from Bijnor, India, said: ‘For 12 days I lay in hospital bed crying in pain.
‘I couldn't see anything as the acid had burned my eyes and I couldn't speak because it had gone inside my mouth. I could only listen to my parents crying and pleading doctors.
‘After this my parents brought me home but for seven months I could not see or speak. I was just taken to a burn specialist for dressing changes.
‘I heard the man accused of the attack was arrested the same night which gave me a sense of relief.
‘When I was back at home my parents had removed all the mirrors in the house, the pain was so horrific that I didn't even know my face had burnt completely.
‘But one day I was drinking water in steel glass when I saw myself. The distorted reflection was horrifying. The glass fell from my hand and I screamed in horror.
‘It was the most horrifying moment of my life. All my dreams had shattered, my confidence had gone.
‘I couldn't believe my face had completely melted. There was nothing on my face. My eyes, nose and mouth were all burnt and the skin was dangling off.
‘I soon drifted into depression, not knowing what further held. I would cry for hours, days. My parents were devastated to see me in this condition but they always encouraged me to stay positive.
‘I remember telling them that I want to die but they made me understood the importance of living and telling me how much they love me.
‘After the incident the school where I was studying also expelled me. I was told that my burnt face would scare other students and that I shouldn't come to school.
‘In the neighbourhood, no one would look at me. They wouldn't talk to me or let their kids talk to me.
‘That year was the most difficult part of my life.
‘But my parents came across Stop Acid Attack, a rehabilitation for acid attack survivors.
‘When I first visited them in 2015, I was shocked to see there other women like me but unlike me, they all were confident and happily living their lives.
‘I soon realised that there was more to my life. I got a sudden rush of motivation and felt that this was my opportunity to start afresh.
‘My life completely changed here. I was given new hopes to live my life with dignity.’