An acid-attack victim horrifically scarred by her father in an assault that killed her mum is appealing for £35,000 to pay for operations to rebuild her face.
Brave Shabbo Sheikh, 23, was disfigured when her face was drenched in acid after her father allegedly threw it on her mother, while the two-year-old was in her lap.
Her mother died the next day but Shabbo miraculously survived – only to be abandoned at the hospital and left to grow up in an orphanage.
The graduate is speaking out for the first time in a bid to find employment – and raise £35,000 she needs to ongoing treatment to her scars.
Shabbo, from Mumbai, India, said: “Often my friends ask if I’m furious and vengeful.
“I’m not – honestly.
“I don’t know what I feel about my father after what he did but I’ve forgiven him.
“I don’t know the man and I choose my peace of mind over everything else.
“It’s just sad for the damage it’s done to my body.
“Right now, my biggest concern is my unemployment.”
Shabbo’s father fled after the attack and none of her relatives followed her to the hospital in Sion, so she was eventually discharged to an orphanage.
But the bright young woman flourished at school and settled into college, after initially struggling to make friends.
“Befriending people felt like a task because I used to always feel their eyes observing my scars or worse, people feeling disgusted by it,” she said.
“I used to see large groups of people and have this sinking feeling of missing out on these fun times.
“With time, however, things became better and I ended up making a lot of good friends there.”
The acid attack damaged her left hand beyond repair, and left her unable to close her eyelids properly.
Her sensitive skin means she can’t go out in bright sunlight and she has to apply ointments and gel every day.
“One of my eyes is completely damaged and the other does not have lashes which means it keeps watering all the time,” she said.
After struggling to pay rent when she finished college, she was taken in by a charity who has provided her with accommodation.
She needs 30,00,000 rupees – around £35,000 – for more reconstruction surgery, and is desperate to find a job.
“I did have a job but people in my office were uncomfortable with my appearance and so I was asked to leave my job,” she said.
“This was a very heart breaking moment of my life.
“I’m looking for a job in the creative field.
“Some interviews are difficult because employers show more interest in my story and scars than my CV.
“I’ve often been rejected because wanting a presentable, good-looking employee is imperative for certain companies but I don’t let these things get to me.”
To donate, visit: www.ketto.org/fundraiser/helpshabbo