Laxmi, an acid attack victim and a standard-bearer for the movement to end acid attacks in India, was honoured in the US with the prestigious International Women of Courage Award.Giving away the award at the State Department ceremony in Washington yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama praised the 10 women around the world, chosen for the award, saying the winners should be an inspiration.
Laxmi was 16 when an acquaintance threw acid on her face while she waited at a bus stop in New Delhi in 2005, disfiguring her permanently. Last year, Nirbhaya, a courageous 23-year-old girl whose brutal gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012, triggered widespread protests, also received the prestigious award.
International Women of Courage Award
The International Women of Courage Award is an American award presented annually by the United States Department of State to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially for better promotion of women's rights.
The award was established in 2007 by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the International Women's Day, an annual celebration observed each March 8 in many countries worldwide. U.S. embassies have the right to recommend one woman as a candidate.