Ria Sharma, Leadership Award
- Published on Sep 20, 2017
- Ria Sharma, a fashion student at Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom returned to India in the third year of her graduate programme to make a documentary on acid attack survivors. In the process of creating the documentary, she met several survivors and their stories touched her and inspired her to help.
She founded Make Love Not Scars (MLNS) which is an organisation that actively supports survivors of acid attacks physically and mentally, and campaigns to raise awareness of the issue.
Acid attacks against women especially have risen in recent years in India. They are particularly committed by men who wish to seek ‘revenge’ against women who refuse their advances or against wives who do not bring enough dowry.
MLNS have ensured that survivors receive free treatment under the Supreme Court order for the welfare of acid victims passed in April 2015. They also receive government compensation and legal aid to source lawyers and fund the legal battles of many survivors and on March 7, they launched the first-ever rehabilitation center of its kind in India to extend services to survivors of acid attacks.