India's Satyarthi, Pak's Malala share peace Nobel

India's Satyarthi, Pak's Malala share peace Nobel

Child rights activist second Indian to win prize

India's Satyarthi, Pak's Malala share peace Nobel

Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teenage icon Malala Yousafzai were on Friday chosen for the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace, 2014, at a time when their homelands were locked in a border flare-up.

Satyarthi, the 60-year-old founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), and 17-year-old Malala, bagged the award jointly “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Malala survived a near-fatal Taliban attack two years ago for her crusade for girls’ education.
The Nobel Committee said in Oslo that it regards the conferring of award on Satyarthi and Malala as an “important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism”.

Malala has become the 16th woman and the youngest to win the Nobel Peace Prize while Satyarthi is the second Indian to win the peace prize after Mother Teresa, who became a naturalised Indian. India-born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was the last to win the Nobel prize in 2009 for chemistry.

An electrical engineer-turned activist, Satyarthi was target of those employing child labourers several times.BBA claims to have saved over 80,000 child labourers over the years.

As the news broke in the afternoon, Satyarthi was flooded with congratulatory messages right from President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his colleagues, political leaders and activists. The narrow road leading to his office in south Delhi's Kalkaji was flooded with media persons.

“I am born in the land of Mahatma Gandhi. I wish the Nobel Committee had conferred the award on him first. I dedicate this award to tens of thousands of child labourers who are still awaiting freedom. I dedicate this award to 1.25 billion Indians," Satyarthi told reporters.

Hailing the work of Satyarthi and Malala, the Nobel Committee said children must go to school and must not be financially exploited.

The Committee said Satyarthi showed “great personal courage” and maintained Gandhi’s tradition while leading various forms of protests and demonstrations, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain.

He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights. Despite her young age, it said, Malala has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. 

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