She was 15. A dreamer, a hard worker, full of life and beautiful. She believed she had the freedom to carve her own road and pursue her dreams. She, however, forgot one little fact: she was a ‘girl’ and she was living in a male-dominated society. A society that punishes women for having their own free will.
Laxmi was punished too. Waiting at a bus stand in crowded Central Delhi, she was dragged onto the road by a 32-year-old man whose unwanted overtures Laxmi had blatantly refused. He, along with a female companion, pinned her down and threw acid on her face.
She screamed, yelled in pain begging for help. None came. Within seconds, she was left with her face disfigured beyond recognition, an ear melted and arms charred black. She had lost her ‘identity’. Her ordeal was far from over. She was shunned by society, her relatives refused to recognize her, employees refused to hire her, and the public scared even looking at her.
“Don’t stare at me, I am human too,” fell on deaf ears. Laxmi today is fighting for the rights of other acid attack victims, vociferously leading ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ campaign, supporting her family being the sole bread earner, and inspiring millions of women with her courage and will to fight.
She is the proud and well deserved recipient of International Women of the Courage Award 2014. She has been honored with this award by US First Lady Michelle Obama herself.
authorSTREAM salutes the indomitable spirit of Laxmi. This International Women’s Day (March 8), let us clamor for the rights of women through every conceivable medium- blogs, poems, street plays, art, cinema, or presentations.
Here’s a presentation that is a grim reminder of the condition of women across the world and a wakeup call that a lot needs to be done to make things fairer for the fairer sex:
The theme for this International Women’s Day is ‘inspiring change for greater awareness of women’s equality’. What better way to inspire change than by making a presentation and posting it online for others to see.
Has anyone inspired you to bring about a change? Tell us in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.
Happy International Women’s Day!