Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy launches anti-acid campaign

Published: February 28, 2012
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy accepts the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) for the film “Saving Face” at the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy accepts the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) for the film “Saving Face” at the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan’s first Oscar winner launched a campaign on Tuesday, hoping that her documentary about survivors of acid attacks can help eliminate a crime that disfigures hundreds of women each year.

“Saving Face” by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the short documentary category at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

The film follows survivors in their fight to bring their attackers to justice and focuses on the work of British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad, who helped restore their faces and lives.

The team behind the documentary are using their website to launch a campaign designed to raise awareness about acid attacks, which can disfigure around 200 women a year in Pakistan, and to strengthen legislation against the violence.

“The film must be more than an expose of horrendous crimes, it must be a recipe for addressing the problem and a hope for the future,” co-director Daniel Junge says on

Pakistan’s parliament last year adopted tougher penalties for acid attacks, increasing the punishment to between 14 years and life, and a minimum fine of one million rupees.

Obaid-Chinoy’s mother, Saba, told AFP that the campaign was launched formally after her daughter won the Oscar, which had “provided her with a unique opportunity and strength to strive for her goal more effectively”.

“The campaign is mainly aimed at making our society more humane and better to live. It is to help and remedy those who are victims of such brutality and injustice,” she told AFP.

“Saving Face is uniquely positioned to advance awareness, education and prevention efforts,” the website says.

The chairwoman of Acid Survivors Pakistan, which is a partner in the campaign, told AFP that the fight to eliminate the crime had only just started and that the outreach programme was designed to generate “systemic change”.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Feb 28, 2012 - 2:30PM

    this is a future from media in PAKISTAN
    “WELL done Sharmeen Obaid”
    “kip it up”

    "thankx you"

  • faisal malik
    Feb 28, 2012 - 3:14PM

    Whole Nation is proud of your success. greatful !


  • Feb 28, 2012 - 3:57PM

    No doubt ,Sharmeen ; is a great daughter of the land. We pray and salute her.God bless you.


  • Feb 28, 2012 - 4:27PM

    Well Done Sharmeen, Violence on women should end


  • sanam
    Feb 28, 2012 - 5:34PM

    sharmeen sorry to say that u have been awarded for insulting and degrading Pakistan.may i suggest u to make an effort to win in future for positive contribution towards building the image of pakistan/prayers for u n ur family.


  • Saqib
    Feb 28, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Sharmeen you are a role model for so may women in Pakistan. showing that with hard work you can achieve your dreams. We are proud of you!!


  • Truth From Pakistan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Sharmeen has not degraded Pakistan as someone suggested. Burying your head in sand will not make the danger go away! Lets have enough courage to face reality and act positively. The shame is when one fails to acknowledge the problem and its a total injustice to those who suffer and go through the problem. Keep up the good work Sharmeen and ignore all pessimists and critics….!


  • Imran Mohammad
    Feb 28, 2012 - 6:14PM

    @sanam. What Sharmeen showed is reality. Like it or not, we have to live with it. Well done Sharmeen. I have been thinking since yesterday that we take out processions/jalsas for the injustices around the world but why we never have same magnitude of protests against the atrocities committed within our own society. Why?


  • A.Khan
    Feb 28, 2012 - 8:05PM

    If any help needed from me and my family, we will be there.


  • Feb 28, 2012 - 8:55PM

    what is the point of publishing this documentary in the US? who are the people suffering from acid attacks and which strata of society do they belong to? and who exactly is this documentary targetting?

    if you want to bring about social change air the documentary on all the major tv channels. reach out to the people to educate them and make them aware of the wrong doing


  • ddd
    Feb 28, 2012 - 9:04PM

    Where are her sleeves? Someone stole them?


  • Doning
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:07PM

    I wish Ms. Chinoy the absolute best! She definitely deserves continued support and encouragement. She also directed another amazing documentary, Highway of Tears. I encourage everyone to check it out if they can…


  • Humanity
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:10PM

    There are people who refuse to let go the state of denial and who want to keep their trash hidden under the rug.

    The reason for jubilation is the light being focused on a tragic topic, forcing people out of a perpetual state of denial. Hope for change must not be expected without acknowledgement that evil exists within us. The horrific act of dehumanization through torture is demonic. . That it takes an Oscar award to jolt people out of indifference and acquiescence is the real tragedy of a people who claim to be the guardians and guides for all humanity. The national reaction is indeed proof beyond a shadow of doubt of a zombie nation with a dead conscience. Just note how every one and their uncle from Gilani to the MQM are hoping on the bad wagon to shower Sharmeen with awards and accolades. Were the “Alhamdolliah, we are Muslims” dead before the Academy took notice of the film on the plight of the victims?

    This film and the events surrounding the film are a mirror that shows an ugly collective face, regardless of the angle one looks at. Can this face be saved? Yes. However, the gravity of deprivation begs for nothing short of divine intervention.Recommend

  • IR4M
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:34PM

    wel done!!!!!!!!!


  • RJ
    Feb 29, 2012 - 12:11AM

    i agree the documentary shed light on a negative aspect of pakistani society, but i also feel that it needed to be done…acid burning isnt limited to just pakistan, incidences have occurred in other asian countries as well…the way to cure social ills is not to take the ostrich in the sand approach but rather proactively do something about it, even if it makes you look bad


  • Shama T. Bukhari
    Feb 29, 2012 - 12:32AM

    Mostly accustomed for being the main centre of bad news,we,pakistanis rejoice wining first Academy Awards.Bravo,Bravo sharmeen chinoy..let’s join hands with such brave women to fight for this cause(acid attacks)..hope so that our policy makers,try to unveil these culprits and punish them….LET JUSTICE PREVAIL..


  • Syed Shah
    Feb 29, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Hearty Congratulations for Sharmeen O. Chinoy. Great. It is so heartening coming when every thing looks so gloomy.


  • Sh
    Feb 29, 2012 - 3:35AM

    You ate them! :O


  • Dumbo
    Feb 29, 2012 - 7:54AM

    Get A Life!


  • noor khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 10:35AM

    reality is always bitter. every coin has 2 sides sanam and keeping in mind the current situation of pakistan it was essential to show the darker side.why does women always have to suffer . they should be given the freedom of speech and there rights should be protected. i pay tribute to sharmeen obaid for her tremendous efforts in helping women to atleaset getting consideration..honestly the next step should be to enforce strict laws on domestic voilence to ensure that women of pakistan are protected and safe…we all have to pay our role in [email protected]:


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