Medical student and model Raudha Athif was found dead in her dorm room yesterday in an apparent suicide. Athif, 21, had appeared in Vogue India last year and was studying in Bangladesh at the Islami Bank Medical College at the time of her death.
Friends found Athif hanging from her ceiling fan, a scarf tied around her neck. They cut her down, initially believing she was still alive. Police are calling it a suicide but won’t make it official until an autopsy is performed.
She “always looked happy,” said Mahmuda Begum, the superintendent of Athif’s hostel, in an interview with the Daily Star. “It is hard to believe she would commit suicide.”
Athif, originally from the Maldives, found herself the subject of international attention three years ago when a photo of her gained sudden acclaim. “Maldivian Girl With Aqua Blue Eyes,” a photo by Maldivian photographer Sotti, propelled Athif’s modeling career to new heights.
She appeared last October in a Vogue India photo shoot and cover story alongside five other models. Under the headline “Celebrating Beauty in Diversity,” Athif was interviewed with other young models with ambitions beyond the fashion world.
“Modelling is a hobby rather than a career for me, since I’m studying to become a doctor,” she told Vogue. “I’ve never been so bold as to take part in any big pageant before this.”
Athif was in her second year of medical school.