Ria Sharma, a young woman who started an NGO called Make Love Not Scars (MLNS) to help acid attacks survivors get on with their lives, has bagged the UN’s Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards.

Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Priyanka Chopra, handed over the award to her in New York on Tuesday night (Sept 19). Ria is the only Indian to get this award.

“My hopes for the future are that one day, the organisation that I worked so hard to build doesn’t have to exist at all. Because that would mean we were successful in putting an end to acid attacks altogether,” Ria said in a video uploaded by The Global Goals.

READ: Acid Attack Survivors Turn Tattoo Artists

The 26-year-old Delhi girl’s efforts towards acid attack victims has earned her the coveted honour.

How it all started

Ria was in the third year of her graduate programme at Leeds College of Arts, UK, when she decided to return to India and make a difference. She started documenting acid attack survivors.

Soon, she felt the need to rehabilitate the victims. When she was just 21, Ria totally involved herself in supporting women who have survived acid attacks. She established her own organization and started helping them rebuild their lives.

Also read: The ardent feminist: 17-year-old Kaanchi’s art for acid attack survivors

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Following the UN award, praises are pouring in for Ria’s efforts to help acid attack victims.

Ria Sharma’s ‘Make Love Not Scars’ foundation gives support to acid attack victims to fight back. She also helps them tie up with the government to get compensation. The victims get free-of-cost treatment at all hospitals. Through her organization, many are receiving legal aid. They have also got employment to support their families 

In a powerful post, Priyanka Chopra tweeted: “We all need to come together and work to empower, educate, create opportunities and impart skill sets so that we can be their catalysts for change and to help them build their brave new world. If possible, a safe one where they can live their dreams and laugh together as one.”

Also read: Acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi shows the way at New York Fashion Week

ALSO WATCH: Exclusive – A face is not everything: Acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi

Feature Image Credit: Times of India

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