Culture & Lifestyle / Malala Yousafazi & Indian Activist Kailash Satyarthi Win Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafazi & Indian Activist Kailash Satyarthi Win Nobel Peace Prize

Culture & Lifestyle Oct 13, 2014


Pakistani Teen Malala Yousafzai And Indian Activist Kailash Satyarthi Make South Asians Around The World Proud With Their Recent Nobel Peace Prize Honour

Both Nobel Prize laureates were awarded for their achievements and diligent work in the fight for children's rights which include rights for education and the fight against the oppression of young children.

An honoured Yousafzai told CNN, "I'm proud that I'm the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person getting this award," Shot by the Taliban for her efforts to promote education for young girls in Pakistan, Yousafzai has become emblematic of young children and women’s rights to education and educational institutions. Since recovering from her surgery, she has been at the center of worldwide attention. One of her most memorable moment's occurred last year when the teen spoke at the UN, standing up for the right to be educated. At age 17, she is the youngest woman ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

She has been studying in England and has become more passionate in her campaign. She continues to work tirelessly for children and women’s education, and this award has further lit the fire in her to continue her campaign. She says, "I think this is really the beginning.” Her desire today is for children all around the world to stand up for their rights.

Reactions of Malala's Nobel Peace Prize have led to mixed reactions. In her own hometown, anger arose towards the lack of attention being given to the Swat Valley and more towards Malala herself. Malala's former teacher tells NBC, "This obviously makes people unhappy. If the government did its job, people wouldn’t have to hate Malala. They feel abandoned." Provincial Legislator Fazle Hakim who does admire Malala's message is disheartened by the fact that the government has not done anything to create educational infrastructures in Pakistan. 

She spoke with fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner; Kailash Satyarthi on Friday, hoping Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif will attend their award ceremony in December. The wish evidence of the hope of an increasing harmonious relationship between India and Pakistan, following the joint award win from two individuals of different countries at constant odds.  The pressure is on from both countries through Yousafzai and Satyarthi to make a difference in the world, especially because children are symbolic of the future. Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee told The Reuters, "The Nobel Committee regards it 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.”

Kailash Satyarthi Nobel prize winner

Kailash Satyarthi working with kids for his Bachpan bachai Andolan/ BBC

Kailash Satyarthi, 60, is the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save The Children Movement), which he established in 1980. According to the Guardian, he worked as an electric engineer and has since been working tirelessly to save children from slavery. In 2010, he had saved about 74,000 children and now he has transformed the lives of 80,000 children.  He has saved children from all different walks from life: Indian children who spend their lives making footballs for sale in Australia, girls who are sold and forced to work in textile mills as bonded labour, and girls who are forced to work in mining mica, an element used to make cosmetic makeup

When asked about the challenges that Kailash has faced in his organization. He tells Time magazine in an interview, "My biggest challenge was, and still is, changing social mindsets and working around political priorities. Child labor is a non-issue in India. It is a social evil and a development disaster. Indians treat poor children either as beggars, giving them food and clothes in charity or employ them as child laborers. There is nothing in between. And when it comes to the notion of child rights, there is zero awareness. I have been fighting to establish that notion, concept and eventually culture that teaches one to respect childhood and treat children with the dignity and respect they deserve." 

As South Asians, it is hard not to feel anything but pride towards these two individuals who are working to make a difference, showing that it isn't age or status that can make a change in the world, its conviction and determination. 

Feature Image Source: ThePhuketnews