US honoured Laxmi, an acid attack victim with the prestigious International Women of Courage Award on 4 March 2014. She has been honoured for being a standard-bearer for the movement to end acid attacks in India.
She received the award at the State Department ceremony in Washington by Michelle Obama, first lady of US. The award was presented to Laxmi along with other awardees from different countries.
Other awardees are
• Nasrin Oryakhil (Afghanistan)
• Roshika Deo (Fiji)
• Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze (Georgia)
• Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar (Guatemala)
• Fatimata Toure (Mali)
• Maha Al Muneef (Saudi Arabia)
• Oinikhol Bobonazarova (Tajikistan)
• Ruslana Lyzhychko (Ukraine)
• Beatrice Mtetwa (Zimbabwe)
Michelle Obama, first lady of US praised all the 10 women around the world, who were chosen for the award by saying winners, should be an inspiration.
In 2013, US awarded Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old girl who faced brutal gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012.
About Incident of Laxmi – an acquaintance threw acid on face of Laxmi in 2005, while she was waiting at a bus stop in New Delhi. The incident occurred when Laxmi was of 16-years-old and the incident has disfigured her permanently.
After the acid attack, Laxmi became the standard-bearer of India to end acid attacks and gathered 27000 signatures for a petition to curb acid sales and took her petition to the Supreme Court of India. Following the petition of Laxmi, Supreme Court ordered Indian Central and State Governments to regulate the sale of acid and the Parliament to make prosecutions of acid attacks easier to pursue.
About International Women of Courage Award
International Women of Courage Award was established in 2007 and is an annual award that is given by Secretary of State to women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality and social progress. . This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide. Since the inception of the award in 2007, the Department of State has honored more than 70 women from 49 different countries.