The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, have received an invitation to visit Cafe Sheroes Hangout, which is being run and managed by the survivors of acid attack, during their visit to Agra on April 16.
The lead campaigner of Stop Acid Attacks, Laxmi, 27, was selected to brief Prince William during a personal interaction at the British High Commission on Tuesday. The meeting was convened at the personal request of Prince Williams, who wanted to hear directly from women working to support other acid attack victims.
“It was very encouraging to meet Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton. They asked about the problems faced by us while running this campaign. They wanted to know how the royal family can lend a wholehearted support to the mission during their visit in India. The agenda of the meeting was to highlight the issue, which is emerging as a big challenge in the present times,” said Laxmi while talking to HT.
During the meeting, Laxmi also gifted them the Sheroes Calendar modeled by the survivors of acid attacks. Laxmi was delighted to meet Kate and William for the first time and expressed her gratitude to them for inviting her and also bringing the issue of acid violence in the larger public domain.
Excited about the meeting with the royal couple, Laxmi said that the couple’s gesture will give her the courage to run her campaign with a new vigour.
“Prince William shared the pain and agony that a victim of acid attack goes through and also praised the courage shown by acid attack survivors to become independent,” added Laxmi, who is also the director of Chaanv Foundation that works for acid attack survivors.
Laxmi was attacked with acid in 2005 in a busy marketplace when she was only 16-years-old by a man more than twice her age, whose advances she rejected. She has been fighting a lonely battle since 2006 in the Supreme Court, and in the process, succeeded in getting the Indian Penal Code amended to make acid attack a special offence.