Accessibility links

Activists Malala, Satyarthi Accept Nobel Peace Prize

  • VOA News

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi made history Wednesday as they accepted this year's Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

The 17-year-old Malala is the youngest Nobel laureate, while Satyarthi is the first Indian-born peace prize winner.

Malala, in accepting her award, said: This “is for the forgotten children who want education."

"I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. And today, I am not raising my voice, it is the voice of those 66 million girls," she said.

'Deprived of education'

During her speech, Malala said it is time to take action to help children, not to pity them, "so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education."

“Education is one of the blessings of life and one of its necessities. That has been my experience during the 17 years life. We had a thirst for education because our future was right there in that classroom. We would sit and read and learn together,” she said.

Prior to Malala's speech, Sardar Ali Takkar, a music producer for VOA's Deewa Radio, performed his own composition, a tribute song to Malala called "Bibi Sherena."

Satyarthi, who has worked to end child slavery, said his goal is for every child to be "free to be a child." He added that there is "no greater violence than to deny the dreams of children."

"I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom," Satyarthi said.

The two are sharing the award's $1.1 million prize.

Education rights

Malala has dedicated her life to promoting girls' rights to education. She was shot in the head by the Taliban on her school bus in 2012.

In an exclusive interview with VOA's Urdu news service before the ceremony, Malala said the peace prize is a victory for Pakistan as well.

“I am delighted and it is a matter of pride for the whole nation that we have been awarded this award for peace because in the world we have a reputation of that of terrorists," Malala said.

"This peace award conveys a very important message about us and it is that Pakistanis want peace and they support education," she added.

Ahead of the event, the teen laureate also issued an open letter to world leaders, urging them to use 2015 to make the world safer and more just for children.

She said that while the peace prize shows generations can "demand a better world for children," there must also be a call for actions "to ensure every child can be certain of a better future."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winners in October, saying Malala and Satyarthi received the prize jointly for "their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to an education."

Satyarthi has spent more than three decades advancing a movement to free children from child labor.

Watch related video of Sardar Ali Takkar, a music producer for VOA's Deewa Radio, performing tribute song to Malala, "Bibi Sherena":

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG