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Malala, Indian child activist win Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO (Norway), October 11, 2014

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls' right to education, and Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labour Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize yesterday.

Malala, aged 17, becomes the youngest Nobel Prize winner and 60-year-old Satyarthi the first Indian-born winner of the accolade.

They were picked for their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

The sharing of the award between an Indian and a Pakistani came after a week of hostilities along the border of the disputed region of Kashmir - the worst fighting between the nuclear-armed rivals in more than a decade.

"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," said Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Satyarthi said he now hoped to work with Malala for peace.

"I will invite her to join hands to establish peace for our subcontinent, which is a must for children, which is a must for every Indian, for every Pakistani, for every citizen of the world," he said at the New Delhi office of his organisation, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save the Childhood Movement.

Malala was attacked in 2012 on a school bus in the Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan by masked gunmen as a punishment for a blog that she wrote for the BBC's Urdu service as an 11-year-old to campaign against the Taliban's efforts to deny women education.

Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, she moved to England, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

Norway's NRK TV said Malala had been told she had won but decided not to make any immediate public comment - because she was at school.

She addressed the UN Youth Assembly last year at an event Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "Malala Day".

Satyarthi, who gave up a career as an electrical engineer in 1980 to campaign against child labour, has headed various forms of peaceful protests and demonstrations, focusing on the exploitation of children for financial gain.

In a recent editorial, Satyarthi said data from non-government organisations indicated that child labourers could number 60 million in India - six per cent of the total population.-Reuters




Tags: India | Nobel Prize | Child | malala |

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