Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai will share the prestigious Nobel peace prize for 2014.
The two have been named joint winners of the 1.1 million dollar prize for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
The Nobel jury 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.”
Kailash Satyarthi had maintained Gandhi’s tradition and headed various forms of protests and demonstrations focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, the committee said.
The 60-year-old activist, whose “Bachpan Bachao Andolan” is believed to have rescued some 80,000 children forced to work in factories and mines, has never received any award from the Indian government.
“The voice of crores of children has been heard,” Kailash Satyarthi told NDTV, dedicating his award to the nation. (Noble Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi: 5 Facts About His Work)
17-year-old schoolgirl-activist Malala Yusoufzai won for what the Nobel Committee called her “heroic struggle” for girls’ right to education. The youngest ever Nobel laureate was reportedly pulled out of class in a Birmingham school to be informed about the big award.
Malala Yusoufzai was shot in the head by the Taliban two years ago in Pakistan’s Swat Valley for defying a ban on girls going to school. She was airlifted to Britain, where she was treated for life-threatening injuries.
The committee said Malala had shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situation.
The Nobel Peace Prize usually acknowledges “work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” But over time, the jury has widened the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.