Target: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Goal: Protect women from acid attacks
A disturbing type of violence in which men pour dangerous acid on women has taken root in India. These ‘acid attacks’ are often the result of child marriages or arranged marriages gone awry. All too common, acid attacks have adverse effects on the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of the young girls and women who fall victim to these assaults. Although child marriage is making considerable progress towards eradication, archaic ideals, extreme enforcement of patriarchal rule in rural areas, and poverty play a huge part in the perpetuation of dowries and child brides. But, one woman by name of Laxmi is determined to end acid attacks against women in India.
When she was just 15 years old, Laxmi refused to engage in an arranged marriage with a much older man. Angered, the man and a friend purchased acid from a local retailer and attacked Laxmi in a crowded marketplace, burning her on nearly 50% of her entire body. Eight years after her attack, Laxmi learned that nearly 20 acid attacks against women are performed every month because of disagreements that arise because of dowries and arranged marriage disputes. Laxmi took action immediately and started a petition to regulate the sale of acid in the open market. Just a week later, she won.
Recognizing the epidemic, the Indian government announced that it would implement strict guidelines for shopkeepers which would make it illegal to sell or distribute acid without a valid license. Also, buyers would be required to produce a valid ID and proof of address before purchasing the product.
By signing this petition, you’ll applaud the efforts of the Indian government to stop acid attacks against innocent women in India and thank Laxmi for her dedication to advocating for women’s rights.
Dear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
Your recent, and speedy, decision to protect the lives of women in India from vicious acid attacks deserves to be recognized. This unfortunate epidemic has claimed the lives of countless women, while survivors are left with permanent physical, emotional and psychological scars. Taking action against the marketplaces who freely distribute and sell acid to individuals with evil intentions will not only save lives, but shows that the Indian government is well on its way to more progressive thinking.
I hope that this recent string of events means that the Indian government will implement more decisions that change the political landscape into one that is more inclusive and aware of the rights of women and the oppressed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Arun Gopalan