Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy surprised everyone when her documentary on acid throwing victims won the Oscar. This is a moment for her countrymen to rejoice for a number of reasons. First, the myth that Pakistani filmmakers cannot make it to the international film world has been busted. It is now obvious that with hard work and not solely with heavy funding, prestigious prizes can be won. This is a big hope for all those currently in the filmmaking business with a creative bent.

Second, an important thing is the very subject of the documentary; the social evil of disfiguring women’s faces with acid has been highlighted. A symptom of a social malady, the crime is quite common in the country. The sad part is that given a male-dominated society womenfolk in most cases are unable to bring the culprits to justice. Hence, a major reason why the crime is repeatedly committed. With the documentary becoming a household name, and with the launch of a campaign against acid throwing, the dismal scenario would definitely undergo a change. There is still another aspect of Sharmeen’s victory. More often than not Pakistanis are associated with something negative especially in the West. And talking of Academy Awards, a Pakistani would generally have been considered the last individual to win the Oscar. Sharmeen deserves unqualified praise for helping in changing that perception. It is good to know that while Chief Minister Mian Shahabz Sharif has congratulated and invited her to visit Lahore, Prime Minister Gilani has announced a top civilian award in recognition of her performance.