Nobel Peace Prize for ‘Indian Father & Pakistani Daughter’

OSLO (TIP): It was a proud moment for an “Indian father and a Pakistani daughter” to stand together to accept the applause of a gathering of royals, dignitaries, family members and others in the vast and ornate chamber at the Oslo City Hall , Wednesday, December 10. The 60 year old Kailash Satyarthi of India and the 17 year old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Standing side by side to receive medals and diplomas, the two winners drew a standing ovation from the audience before them.

Malala Yousafzai at the U.N. on July 12, 2013

Speaking at the ceremony, his speech steeped in emotion, Kailash Satyarthi, declared that he represented “the sound of silence, the cry of innocence, and the face of invisibility.” “I have come here to share the voices and dreams of our children, because they are all our children,” he said. “There is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children,” he said. “I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be more stronger than the quest for freedom,” he added. “The single aim of my life is that every child is free to be a child.” “We live in an age of rapid globalization,” he continued. “We are connected through high-speed Internet.We exchange goods and services in one single global market.

Kailash Satyarthi attends a human trafficking special session during the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative

Thousands of flights every day connect us to every corner of the globe. “But there is one serious disconnect. It is the lack of compassion,” he said, adding: “Let us globalize compassion.” Malala Yousafzai began her speech with acknowledging her gratitude to her parents and teachers. Malala went on to say the Nobel Prize “is not just for me.” “It is for those forgotten children who want education,” she continued. “It is for those frightened children who want peace.

Kailash Satyarthi: “Let us globalize compassion.”

It is for those voiceless children who want change.” “This is where I will begin, but it is not where I will stop,” she said. “I will continue this fight until I see every child in school.” She added: “Why is it that countries which we call so strong are so powerful in creating wars but so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so hard?” Even before the ceremony, Ms. Yousafzai and Mr. Satyarthi seemed intent on using the occasion not simply as a platform for acknowledgment of their achievements, but also as a podium from which to renew their campaigns.

“We are here to tell children, especially, that you need to stand up. You need to speak up for your rights. It is you who can change the world”, said Malala .

“We are not here just to accept our award, get this medal and go back home,” Ms. Yousafzai told a news conference on the eve of the ceremony, according to Agence France-Presse. “We are here to tell children, especially, that you need to stand up. You need to speak up for your rights. It is you who can change the world.” “In this world, if we are thinking we are modern and have achieved so much development,” she said on Tuesday, “then why is it that there are so many countries where children are not asking for any iPad or computer or anything? What they are asking for is just a book, just a pen, so why can’t we do that?”

The Indian father and the Pakistani daughter greet people before the start of the ceremony

Pakistani youth activist Malala Yousafzai was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday, December 10, an honor she shares with Kailash Satyarthi, who has long been campaigning against child exploitation in neighboring India. But until about two years ago, Malala was just a 15-year old blogger on a school bus with her friends. It was Oct. 9, 2012, when armed Taliban men boarded Malala’s bus and shot her in the head, transforming her from a minor Internet celebrity into an international symbol.

It’s hard to believe that she’s accomplished so much – including recovery from her injuries – in only two years, but Malala’s story actually started long before the assassination attempt that launched her to worldwide fame. She was born in the Swat valley in Pakistan, in 1997, to parents who encouraged her love for education from a young age. As a toddler, Malala would sit in classrooms in her father’s school and follow lessons for 10-year olds. Aryn Baker wrote in her 2012 profile of Malala for TIME: By the time she was 2½, she was sitting in class with 10-yearolds, according to a close family friend and teacher at the school founded by Malala’s father.

The little girl with the huge hazel eyes didn’t say much, but “she could follow, and she never got bored,” says the teacher, who asked to remain anonymous for fear that she too might become a Taliban target. Malalaloved the school, a rundown concrete-block building with a large rooftop terrace open to views of the snowcapped mountains that surround the Swat Valley. As she grew older, she was always first in her class. “She was an ordinary girl with extraordinary abilities,” says the teacher, “but she never had a feeling of being special.” In 2008, everything changed.

The Taliban gained control of the Swat region, banning DVDs, dancing, and beauty parlors. By the end of the year, over 400 schools were closed. Ziauddin took Malala to Peshawar, where she made a famous speech in front of national press titled “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to Education?” She was only 11. In early 2009, Malala started blogging anonymously for the BBC about what it was like to live under the Taliban. Just a few days after she started, all girls schools were closed. In retrospect, some parts of Malala’s blog seem like ominous foreshadowing: “On my way from school to home I heard a man saying ‘I will kill you’,” she wrote on Jan. 3, 2009. “I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.” But there are also humorous parts that remind us that, at the time, she was only 11: “My mother liked my pen name ‘Gul Makai’ and said to my father ‘why not change her name to Gul Makai?’ I also like the name because my real name means ‘grief stricken’.” In December 2009, Ziauddin publicly identified his daughter, even though her real name has been widely suspected for months. That proved to be a dangerous move.

“We did not want to kill her, as we knew it would cause us a bad name in the media,” Sirajuddin Ahmad, a senior commander and spokesman for the Swat Taliban, told TIME for the 2012 magazine profile. “But there was no other option.” In 2012, armed men boarded the converted truck that Malala and her classmates used as a makeshift school bus. “Which one is Malala?” one of them asked. “I think we must have looked at her,” Malala’s classmate Shazia Ramzan told TIME’s Aryn Baker. “We didn’t say anything, but we must have looked, because then he shot her.” Malala took a bullet to the head.

She endured a traumatic operation in Pakistan that left her with a (temporary) metal plate in her head while they stored a piece of her skull in her abdomen, to reattach when she’s healed enough. She was then airlifted to a hospital in Birmingham, England, where she had more medical treatment and extensive rehabilitation. The rest of her story has played out in the public eye. Nine months after she was shot, Malala gave a now-famous speech at the UN. “They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed,” she said. “And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices.… Weakness, fear and hopelessness died.

Strength, power and courage was born.” Now relocated to England, Malala goes to Edgbaston School for Girls. She’s continued her high-profile campaign for girls’ education with The Malala Fund, which raises money to promote girls’ education. She’s used the fund as a platform to confront Barack Obama about drone strikes, help Syrian refugee children and demand the return of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. And this September, she announced a $3 million multi-year commitment to partner with Echidna Giving to support girls education in developing countries.

Malala won Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize in 2011, before she was shot, but the prize been since renamed in her honor; it’s now the National Malala Peace Prize. She was shortlisted for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2012, and was one of the TIME 100 in 2013. She won a Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice in 2012 and the 2013 Simone de Beauvoir Prize for international human rights work on behalf of women’s equality.

India’s Kailash Satyarthi , born on January 11, 1954, is a human rights activist who has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor since 1980 when he gave up a lucrative career as an Electrical Engineer for initiating crusade against Child Servitude. As a grassroots activist, he has led the rescue of over 78,500 child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. As a worldwide campaigner, he has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labor, which is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, Teachers’ Union and Trade Unions.

As an analytical thinker, he made the issue of child labor a human rights issue, not a welfare matter or a charitable cause. He has established that child labor is responsible for the perpetuation of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population explosion and many other social evils. He has also played an important role in linking the fight against child labor with the efforts for achieving ‘Education for All’. Mr. Satyarthi is a member of a High Level Group formed by UNESCO on Education for All comprising of select Presidents,

Prime Ministers and UN Agency Heads. As one of the rare civil society leaders he has addressed the United Nations General Assembly, International Labour Conference, UN Human Rights Commission, UNESCO, etc and has been invited to several Parliamentary Hearings and Committees in USA, Germany and UK in the recent past. As an advocate for quality and meaningful education, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi has addressed some of the biggest worldwide congregations of Workers and Teachers Congresses, Christian Assembly, Students Conferences, etc. as a keynote speaker on the issue of child labor and education.

He is on the Board and Committee of several International Organizations. Amongst all the prominent ones being in the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), International Labor Rights Fund (USA), etc.Mr. Satyarthi is an executive Board Member of International Cocoa Foundation with the Headquarters in Geneva representing the global civil society. He has survived numerous attacks on his life during his crusade to end child labor, the most recent being the attack on him and his colleagues while rescuing child slaves from garment sweatshops in Delhi on 17 March 2011.

Earlier in 2004 while rescuing children from the clutches of a local circus mafia and the owner of Great Roman Circus,Mr. Satyarthi and his colleagues were brutally attacked. Despite of these attacks and his office being ransacked by anti social elements a number of times in the past his commitment to stand tall for the cause of child slaves has been unwavering. He has set up three rehabilitation-cumeducational centers for freed bonded children that resulted in the transformation of victims of child servitude into leaders and liberators. His life and work has been explicitly covered in hundreds of programs on all the prominent television and radio channels including Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, ABC, NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian T.V., ARD, Austrian News, Lok Sabha TV etc. and profoundly featured in several magazines like The Time, Life, Reader’s Digest, Far Eastern Economist,Washington Post, New York Times, Times London, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, Independent, The Times of India, etc.

In addition, to the Global March Against Child Labor, other organizations he has founded and/or led include Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the Global Campaign for Education, and the Rugmark Foundation now known as Goodweave. He is the Chair of another world body International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE) in Washington, D.C. ICCLE is one of the foremost policy institution to bring authentic and abiding southern grassroots perspective in the US policy domain.

“The Global March Against Child Labour is a movement to mobilize worldwide efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children, especially the right to receive a free, meaningful education and to be free from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be harmful to the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.” Global March Against Child Labour is a movement born out of hope and the need felt by thousands of people across the globe – the desire to set children free from servitude. Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) founded by Mr. Kailash Satyarthi is the ray of hope in millions of hearts, the first dream in their eyes, and the first smile on their faces.

It is the sky and wings together for innumerable children, excluded from human identity and dignity, with a desire to fly in freedom. It is the tears of joy of a mother who finds her rescued child back in her lap after years of helplessness and hopelessness. It is a battle to open the doors of opportunities, a fire for freedom and education in the hearts and souls of thousands of youth committed to wipe out the scourge of slavery and ignorance from the face of mankind. ” Rugmark (brainchild of Mr. Kailash Satyarthi) (now known as Goodweave) is an international consortium of independent bodies from a dozen carpet exporting and importing countries, which take part in a voluntary social labeling initiative to ensure that rugs have not been produced with child labor.

The International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE) is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing worldwide efforts to advance the rights of all children, especially to receive a free and meaningful education and to be free from economic exploitation and any work that is hazardous, interferes with a child’s education, or is harmful to a child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. The Center serves as the international advocacy office of the Global March Against Child Labor, a movement representing some 2,000 organizations in 140 countries intended to highlight child slavery and hazardous child labor. The Center also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge on global child labor issues.

ICCLE has built up a great deal of goodwill and respect by being a key player in the establishment of the Global Task Force on Child Labor and Education with UNESCO, the World Bank, ILO, UNICEF, and the Global March.Mr. Kailash Satyarthi is the founder of ICCLE and is on the Board. The life and work of Kailash Satyarthi have been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films,Magazines and news items of all leading print and electronic media worldwide. Satyarthi’s contribution has been recognized through several prestigious international awards. These include the recently awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2014. Satyarthi lives in New Delhi, India. His family includes his wife, a son, daughter-inlaw, a daughter, children , friends and colleagues.

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