An example of this oppressed and alt-right regime was Laxmi. In 2005, at the tender age of 15, Laxmi, was attacked with acid by three men, near Tuglaq road in New Delhi. Reason for the attack? She refused to marry one of them, who was more than double her age at that time. Acid attack refers to the act of throwing acid or a similarly corrosive substance on another with the intention to disfigure, torture and kill the victim. These corrosive chemicals damage the skin, tissues and sometimes even dissolve the bones of the victim, leading to disfiguring, blindness and deafness, impacting their psychological, social and economic viability.
A crime that might leave lifelong physical and mental trauma on a victim, was not able to dampen Laxmi's hopes. Laxmi fought back and brought a revolution along. She did not let the society or anyone else decide how she was going to live her life post this incident. Back then, in 2005, an acid attack was not recognized as a separate offence and Laxmi refused to succumb to the crime. Even as a minor, she had a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2006, seeking a new law or amendment to the existing laws, to deal with the crime, apart from asking for compensation for the victims. It also sought a total ban on the sale of acid, so that the crime could be prevented. Her efforts finally bore fruits and in 2013, the Criminal Law Act was amended. For the first time, the Indian Criminal Law recognized acid attack as a separate offence.
It is the fighting spirit of the victims, their valiance in life that is commendable. Laxmi is one such fighter. Attacked with acid at just 15 years of age, today, she is a campaigner with Stop Acid Attacks and a TV host, who speaks of the rights of acid attack victims and appeals for their inclusion into the mainstream. As part of her initiatives, amongst others, she is involved with SheRoes Hangout in Agra and Chhanv-an abode for acid attack fighters. With the spirit and fire of a tigress, she keeps fighting against injustice and spreading light like a ray of sunshine.
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