New Delhi, October 11-Expressing his delight over winning the Nobel Peace prize, renowned child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi on Friday dedicated the coveted award to the people of India and vowed to work with renewed vigour against exploitation of children and to ensure their welfare.
In his first reaction after the Nobel prize committee in Oslo announced Satyarthi and Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai as the joint winners of this year’s Peace Nobel, the 60-year-old head of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan thanked the committee for recognising the plight of millions of children and said the award will help bring global focus on the issue.
What did Kailash Satyarthi say after winning the Nobel Peace prize?
“I am thankful to the Nobel committee for recognising the plight of millions of children who are suffering in this modern age. It is a huge honour for me,” said Satyarthi, who became the second Indian to win the award after Mother Teresa who won it in 1979.
Satyarthi, who is an avid follower of Gandhian philosophy, however, said he would have been happier if the award had gone to the Father of the Nation.”I was born after the death of Mahatma Gandhi. If the prize had gone to Mahatma Gandhi before me, I would have been more honoured. I am really honoured. This award is for all the citizens of the country,” he said.
Satyarthi, whose organisation has been in the forefront of rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking, said he was happy that the issue has received global attention.”This is not about simply poverty and rights of children. It is more than that. The fight has to continue. We are happy that the issue has been recognised globally now. I will continue my work,” he said.
The Bachpan Bachao Andolan, established in 1983, is credited with freeing over 80,000 child labourers across India. “We are very humbly fighting for child rights and the award has put more responsibility on me to work towards welfare of children. This is a major issue in India as well as in many other countries,” he said.
A former electrical engineer, Satyarthi has been involved in various global campaigns against exploitation of children which include Global March Against Child Labour, the International Center on Child Labor and Education and the Global Campaign for Education.
Modi hails Satyarthi, Malala for winning Nobel Peace prize
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has congratulated Shri Kailash Satyarthi for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Congratulations to Shri Kailash Satyarthi on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The entire nation is proud of his momentous achievement. Shri Kailash Satyarthi has devoted his life to a cause that is extremely relevant to entire humankind. I salute his determined efforts,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also congratulated Pakistan’s Ms Malala Yousafzai on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”Malala Yousafzai’s life is a journey of immense grit and courage. I congratulate her on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,” the Prime Minister said.
Who is Malala Yousafzai?
Pakistani teenager activist Malala Yousafzai, who shared the Nobel with Satyarthi, was shot in the head in Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan by the Taliban in 2012, but she survived and became a symbol of triumph over adversity. The famous advocate for girls’ education continues to fight for their right to go to school.
Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, Yousafzai moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.
With the prize, Malala became the youngest Nobel Prize winner, eclipsing Australian-born British scientist Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 when he shared the Physics Prize with his father in 1915.
Satyarthi and Yousafzai were picked for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its citation.
What did the Nobel committee say about the two winners?
“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,” Jagland said.
“It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today,” Jagland said. “In 2000 the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.”
The two South Asian activists beat Pope Francis and American whistleblower Edward Snowden who were the favourites this year to win the coveted honour.
The Nobel Peace prize, worth about $1.1 million, will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the famous award in his 1895 will.
The winners this year were selected from a list of 278 nominees, the highest number of candidates ever. The list included 47 organizations, the Nobel committee said. The previous record was 259 in 2013.