US First Lady Michelle Obama has felicitated an Indian acid attack victim after she won the International Women of Courage Attack for campaigning against such attacks.
“When we see these women raise their voices, and move their feet and empower others to create change, we need to realise that each of us has that same power, and the same obligation,” Obama said at a US State Department ceremony to honour Laxmi.
A friend’s brother had thrown acid on Laxmi in 2004 when she was just 15, after she rebuffed his romantic overtures.
At the ceremony, Laxmi read out from a poem she has penned, saying: “You haven’t thrown acid on my face, you threw it on my dreams.”
The attack on her had left her face severely disfigured. But an undaunted Laxmi has tirelessly campaigned since then against the easy availability of acids in the country attackers’ use. She had even moved India’s Supreme Court to regulate its sales.
Laxmi is now in a live-in relationship with an activist, who says her indomitable courage made her an exceptionally beautiful woman.
The US State Department award annually recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating peace, justice, human rights and gender equality.