India’s Kailash Satyarthi, Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai awarded Nobel Peace Prize
OSLO: At a time when India and Pakistan are going through tensions at the border, the South Asian neighbours on Friday shared a moment of honour.Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, announced here that Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.While making the announcement, Jagland said: “Children must go to school, not be financially exploited.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.Yousafzai, now 17, is a schoolgirl and education campaigner in Pakistan who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago.Last year’s Peace Prize winner was the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.The winners were selected from a list of 278 nominees, including 47 organisations, the Nobel committee said.
The Nobel committee`s deliberations continued almost until the last minute and a decision wasn`t reached until last week, public broadcaster NRK reported. The Nobel Committee said it was “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.”The two activists have been awarded for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Mr Satyarthi, who runs the “Bachpan Bachao Andolan”, had maintained Gandhi’s tradition and headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, the Nobel jury said.”The voice of crores of children has been heard,” Mr Satyarthi, 54, told Reporters., dedicating his award to the nation.
17-year-old Malala Yusoufzai, who was shot at by the Taliban in 2012 for protesting against curbs on girls attending school in her town in the Swat Valley, is the youngest recipient and Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate. Her remarkable story of courage and survival has moved millions across the world.The committee said Malala had shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstance. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education,” said the jury.
The founder of the Nobel Prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, said the prize should be given to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”The committee has interpreted those instructions differently over time, widening the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.