My Face Was Disfigured, But It Failed To Kill My Aspirations: Mitali Sonawane

Women's Day Special: In an exclusive interview, Mitali Sonawane describes how she strived for modelling in spite of having a disfigured face due to an accident.

My Face Was Disfigured, But It Failed To Kill My Aspirations: Mitali Sonawane

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a model? Beautiful faces with a great persona. Someone with the perfectly sculpted facial features and mesmerising eyes. However, Mitali Sonawane is here to break your preconceived notion. 

Mitali’s face is disfigured as she met with an accident when she was 5 years old. She suffered serious burns when boiling water was accidentally poured on her. She was rushed to the hospital by her family but due to doctor’s negligence and lack of proper equipment, she further suffered major infections, which resulted in her being in a coma for 10 days. Talking about the same Mitali said, “When I first looked at myself in the mirror I wasn’t disappointed that my face was disfigured but I was grateful that I’m alive even after this accident. At that moment, I promised myself that I’ll never be disappointed with anything and always strive to achieve what I want in life."

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However, it took her a lot of time to recover and she was reluctant to go to school as she thought people would make fun of her. To her surprise, the reality was exactly the opposite. 

“When I went to school after my accident my friends and my teachers were more supportive of me which gave more boost to my confidence. It’s because of them and my family members that I believe in myself a lot. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have ever reached where I’m today.” 

The struggle didn’t end here. As she was always interested in acting, dancing and other kinds of performing arts, she decided that she’ll pursue her career in modelling. Her parents completely supported her but at the same time, there were several naysayers who said ‘Don’t wear clothes that reveal your body’ ‘hide your scars by using this type of scarf’ etc. 

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Even after several trials and tribulations, she continued to pursue her career in modelling and participated in various pageants. There were many who praised her determination and willingness but sadly she did not win in them. In one of the pageants, the judges applauded her for wearing a bikini with such grace. 

She participated in pageants like Mumbai chi sukanya, Miss Diva, Miss Tiara India and Miss India. However, currently, she has been doing several projects in modelling for celebrated brands across categories. 

Mitali always advocates that irrespective of the intensity of your despair, whether you’re an acid attack survivor or an accident survivor, don’t ever lose hope on yourself. Mitali indeed is an epitome of determination and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

This woman's day we celebrate Mitali and all the women like her who have not let a setback ( even as large as this) to define them. We salute her spirit and that of all the woman around us that continue to shine and make this world a better place. 

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