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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Indian anti-acid attack champ wins UN award

Indian anti-acid attack champ wins UN award

Last updated on: September 22, 2017 11:09 IST

A fashion student, this 26-year-old founded an organisation in New Delhi to support survivors of acid attacks.

Ria Sharma

Photograph: Monica Schipper/Getty Images 

The 2017 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards was held in New York and five activists across the world were honoured for their outstanding work to create a positive impact in people's lives.

The only Indian among the winners was 26-year-old Ria Sharma, who won the Leadership Award.

A fashion student at Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom, Ria returned to India in the third year of her graduate programme to make a documentary on acid attack survivors.

Ria Sharma addresses the audience

Ria speaks on stage at the function.
Photograph: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

In the process of creating the documentary, she met several acid attack survivors.

Their stories touched her in such a way that she was inspired help them.

Ria Sharma with Priyanka Chopra

Actress Priyanka Chopra presented the award to Ria. 
Photograph: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Ria went ahead to found Make Love Not Scars, an organisation that actively supports survivors of acid attacks.

Reshma Qureshi, one of the many women Ria helped, was the first Indian acid attack survivor to walk the ramp at New York Fashion Week. 

Read Reshma's story here! The acid attack survivor who walked the ramp in New York

Ria Sharma with the winners

Ria with the winners including Bernard Coulibally, Marieme Jamme, Laura Ulloa and Felix Manyogate.
Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Awards -- curated by UNICEF for the second year -- are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for the sustainable development goals, a set of 17 goals unanimously adopted by every country in the world in 2015 to help make the world more peaceful, equitable and healthy.

The other winners included a medical student dedicating his life to reducing maternal and child mortality rates in rural areas of Tanzania; and a Colombian woman who helps former guerrillas reintegrate into society.

(With inputs from UNICEF)

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau