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This 23-year-old woman is on a mission to stop acid attacks!

Sometimes you don’t really know what you want to do in life, but then life shows you the way. This is exactly what happened with Ria Sharma who was a fashion student at Leeds College of Art just a few years back. The work wasn’t inspiring enough to her and she explored film-making. She got introduced to acid attack survivors during her first documentary project, and realized that there was a need to create an organization that not only provided funds but also specialized in everything related to acid attacks. At the age of just 21, Ria founded Make Love Not Scars to provide help in all aspects of rehabilitation for acid attack survivors in India.

#EndAcidSale Campaign:

This is the first campaign by Make Love Not Scars, executed by Ogilvy & Mather, which is basically a global petition asking government of India to restrict acid sale to lay persons. Ogilvy bagged three Awards for the campaign.

The Petition news has been broadcasted worldwide via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, New York Times, Seattle Times, Times of India and other platforms.

Below is one of the campaign videos where Reshma Qureshi (one of the survivors) has made a powerful ‘beauty’ tutorial video calling for a ban on the corrosive liquid. Currently, buying it is as easy as picking up a new lipstick.

The campaign was well received worldwide & even acknowledged by the likes of Amitabh Bachchan & Ashton Kutcher.

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Rehabilitation Centre Launch

On the 7th of March 2016, 20 survivors gathered under one roof with several volunteers, professionals from all walks of life and well wishers to help Make Love Not Scars inaugurate their first of its kind rehabilitation centre in New Delhi. The centre, which is based in Lado Sarai, was inaugurated by Mrs. Swati Maliwal (Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women).
Referral program

Make Love Not Scars believes that this is a vital step forward in enabling the survivors to be re-introduced into society  with following agenda:

  • The centre will provide counselling for the survivors to help them redevelop the confidence that was once stolen from them. Survivors of acid attacks are constantly plagued by stigma because of which they cannot be accepted into society.
  • Sponsored classes will be set up such as yoga, meditation, Brail, computer and English classes for all. These classes and specialized training based on each individual survivors needs will create higher chances of them gaining employment & earning a dignified living in the near future.
  • Survivors will be able to seek help regarding all aspects of their attack, including medical and legal.

The survivors were elated with the launch of such a facility.

Founder Ria Sharma says:

“The centre is a project that the government should pick up in order to provide more specialized care & a brighter future for survivors all over India. The survivors are not only disfigured but disabled as well. Such cases require an individualistic approach. As of now we receive absolutely no help from the government.”

While the number of acid attacks in the country are increasing, such facilities need to be put in place to ensure that survivors can get immediate help and support. Its time to eradicate the stigma.

She is an inspiration for the youth. The extent to which she has contributed to the survivors and to the society at large is praiseworthy and we at InviteMyGuest are proud to be a partner to their centre’s inauguration ceremony.

In recent developments, Ria won the Social Impact Award at the prestigious Education UK Alumni Awards 2016. She is also one of the three alumni of UK universities who were invited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) on their Delhi visit.

To invite her for an inspiring lecture, talk or interaction session: Click “Invite” on her profile here.Referral program

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