World

As it happened — Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai receive Nobel Peace Prize

So we must work ... and not wait.

I call upon my fellow children to stand up around the world.

Dear sisters and brothers, let us become the first generation to decide to be the last.

The empty classrooms, the lost childhoods, wasted potential—let these things end with us.

Let this be the last time that a boy or a girl spends their childhood in a factory.

Let this be the last time that a girl gets forced into early child marriage.

Let this be the last time that an innocent child loses their life in war.

Let this be the last time that a classroom remains empty.

Let this be the last time that a girl is told education is a crime and not a right.

Let this be the last time that a child remains out of school.

Let us begin this ending.

Let this end with us.

And let us build a better future right here, right now.

Thank you.

So let us bring equality, justice and peace for all. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. It is our duty.

Dear brothers and sisters, the so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don't. Why is it that countries which we call “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 difficult?

As we are living in the modern age, the 21st century and we all believe that nothing is impossible. We can reach the moon and maybe soon will land on Mars. Then, in this, the 21st century, we must be determined that our dream of quality education for all will also come true.

It is not time to tell the leaders to realise how important education is - they already know it - their own children are in good schools. Now it is time to call them to take action. We ask the world leaders to unite and make education their top priority. Fifteen years ago, the world leaders decided on a set of global goals, the Millennium Development Goals. In the years that have followed, we have seen some progress. The number of children out of school has been halved. However, the world focused only on expanding primary education, and progress did not reach everyone.

Next year, in 2015, representatives from around the world will meet at the United Nations to decide on the next set of goals, the Sustainable Development Goals. This will set the world's ambition for generations to come. Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child.

Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.

My great hope is that this will be the last time we must fight for the education of our children. We want everyone to unite to support us in our campaign so that we can solve this once and for all.

Like I said, we have already taken many steps in the right direction. Now is the time to take a leap.

Dear brothers and sisters, great people,who brought change, like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Aung San Suu Kyi, they once stood here on this stage. I hope the steps that Kailash Satyarti and I have taken so far and will take on this journey will also bring change – lasting change.

In my own village, there is still no secondary school for girls. I want to build one, so my friends can get an education—and the opportunity it brings to fulfil their dreams.

That is where I will begin, but it is not where I will stop. I will continue this fight until I see every child in school. I feel much stronger after the attack that I endured, because I know, no one can stop me, or stop us, because now we are millions, standing up together.

One of my very good school friends, the same age as me, had always been a bold and confident girl and dreamed of becoming a doctor. But her dream remained a dream. At age of 12, she was forced to get married and then soon had a son at an age when she herself was a child – only 14. I know that my friend would have been a very good doctor.

But she couldn't ... because she was a girl. Her story is why I dedicate the Nobel Prize money to the Malala Fund, to help give girls everywhere a quality education and call on leaders to help girls like me, Mezun and Amina. The first place this funding will go is where my heart is, to build schools in Pakistan—especially in my home of Swat and Shangla.

Many children in India and Pakistan are deprived of their right to education because of social taboos, or they have been forced into child labour and girls into child marriages

Many children in Africa do not have access to school because of poverty.

What I have learnt from the first two chapters of the Holy Quran, is the word Iqra, which means read, and the word, nun wal-qalam which means by the pen.

And therefore as I said last year at the United Nations One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world

Today, in half of the world, we see rapid progress, modernisation and development. However, there are countries where millions still suffer from the very old problems of hunger, poverty, injustice and conflicts.

Indeed, we are reminded in 2014 that a century has passed since the beginning of the First World War, but we still have not learnt all of the lessons that arose from the loss of those millions of lives a hundred years ago. </p>

There are still conflicts in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives. Many families have become refugees in Syria, Gaza and Iraq. There are still girls who have no freedom to go to school in the north of Nigeria. In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see innocent people being killed in suicide attacks and bomb blasts. </p>

Though I appear as one girl, one person, who is 5 foot 2 inches tall, if you include my high heels. I am not a lone voice, I am many.

I am Shazia.



I am Kainat Riaz.



I am Kainat Somro.



I am Mezon.



I am Amina. I am those 66 million girls who are out of school.

People like to ask me why education is important especially for girls. My answer is always the same.

And there are girls with me, who I have met during my Malala Fund campaign, who are now like my sisters, my courageous 16 year old sister Mezon from Syria, who now lives in Jordan in a refugee camp and goes from tent to tent helping girls and boys to learn. And my sister Amina, from the North of Nigeria, where Boko Haram threatens and kidnaps girls, simply for wanting to go to school.

Today, I tell their stories too. I have brought with me to Oslo, some of my sisters, who share this story, friends from Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. My brave sisters Shazia and Kainat Riaz who were also shot that day in Swat with me. They went through a tragic trauma too. Also my sister Kainat Somro from Pakistan who suffered extreme violence and abuse, even her brother was killed, but she did not succumb.

Things did not remain the same. When I was ten, Swat, which was a place of beauty and tourism, suddenly changed into a place of terrorism. More than 400 schools were destroyed. Girls were stopped from going to school. Women were flogged. Innocent people were killed. We all suffered. And our beautiful dreams turned into nightmares.

Education went from being a right to being a crime.

But when my world suddenly changed, my priorities changed too.

I had two options, one was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up.

The terrorists tried to stop us and attacked me and my friends on 9th October 2012, but their bullets could not win.

We survived. And since that day, our voices have only grown louder.

I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not.

It is the story of many girls.

We had a thirst for education because our future was right there in that classroom. We would sit and read and learn together. We loved to wear neat and tidy school uniforms and we would sit there with big dreams in our eyes. We wanted to make our parents proud and prove that we could excel in our studies and achieve things, which some people think only boys can.

Education is one of the blessings of life — and one of its necessities. That has been my experience during the 17 years life. In my home in Swat Valley, in the north of Pakistan, I always loved school and learning new things. I remember when my friends and I would decorate our hands with henna for special occasions. Instead of drawing flowers and patterns we would paint our hands with mathematical formulas and equations.

I have found that people describe me in many different ways.

Some people call me the girl who was shot by the Taliban.

And some, the girl who fought for her rights

Some people, call me a Nobel Laureate now

As far as I know, I am just a committed and stubborn person who wants to see every child getting quality education, who wants equal rights for women and who wants peace in every corner of the world.

I am here to stand up for their rights, raise their voice ... it is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education.

This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.

Dear brothers and sisters, I was named after the inspirational Pashtun Joan of Arc, Malalai of Maiwand. The word Malala means "grief stricken", but in order to lend some happiness to it, my grandfather would always call me Malala – The happiest girl in this world and today I am very happy that we are standing together for an important cause.

I am also honoured to receive this award together with Kailash Satyarti, who has been a champion of children's rights for a long time. Twice as long, in fact, than I have been alive. I am also glad that we can stand together and show the world that an Indian and a Pakistani can be united in peace and together work for children's rights.

I am very proud to be the first Pashtun, the first Pakistani, and the first young person to receive this award. I am pretty certain that I am also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers. I want there to be peace everywhere, but my brothers and I are still working on that.

I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional love. Thank you to my father for not clipping my wings and for letting me fly. Thank you to my mother for inspiring me to be patient and to always speak the truth- which we strongly believe is the real message of Islam.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and love. I am grateful for the letters and cards that I still receive from all around the world. Reading your kind and encouraging words strengthens and inspires me.

Bismillah hir rahman ir rahim. In the name of God, the most merciful, the most beneficent.

Your Majesties, distinguished members of the Norweigan Nobel Committee, dear sisters and brothers, today is a day of great happiness for me. I am humbled that the Nobel Committee has selected me for this precious award.









Today, I see thousands of Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, and Nelson Mandelas marching forward and calling on us. The boys and girls have joined. I have joined in. We ask you to join too.

Let us democratise knowledge.

Let us universalise justice.

Together, let us globalise compassion, for our children!

I call upon you in this room, and all across the world.

I call for a march from exploitation to education, from poverty to shared prosperity, a march

from slavery to liberty, and a march from violence to peace.

Asato mā sad gamaya, tam aso mā jyotir g amaya, mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya.

Let us march from darkness to light. Let us march from mortality to divinity.

Let us march!

As a child, I had a vision of tomorrow. That cobbler boy was studying with me in my classroom. Now, that tomorrow has become TODAY. I am TODAY, and you are TODAY. TODAY it is time for every child to have the right to life, the right to freedom, the right to health, the right to education, the right to safety, the right to dignity, the right to equality, and the right to peace.

TODAY, beyond the darkness, I see the smiling faces of our children in the blinking stars. TODAY, in every wave of every ocean, I see our children playing and dancing. TODAY, in every plant, tree, and mountain, I see that little cobbler boy sitting with me in the classroom.

I want you to see and feel this TODAY inside you. My dear sisters and brothers, may I ask you to close your eyes and put your hand close to your heart for a moment? Can you feel the child inside you? Now, listen to this child. I am sure you can!

Over fifty years ago, on the first day of my school I met a cobbler boy my age sitting at the school gate, polishing shoes. I asked my teachers these questions: “Why is he working outside? Why is he not coming to school with me?” My teachers had no answer. One day, I gathered the courage to ask the boys’ father. He said: “Sir, I have never thought about it. We are just born to work.” This made me angry. It still makes me angry. I challenged it then, and I am challenging it today.

Governments must make child friendly policies, and invest in education and young people.

Businesses must be more responsible and open to innovative partnerships.

Intergovernmental agencies must work together to accelerate action.

Global civil society must rise above business-as-usual and scattered agendas.

Faith leaders and institutions, and all of us must stand with our children.

We must be bold, we must be ambitious, and we must have the will. We must keep our promises.

We need collective actions with a sense of urgency. Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters.

I challenge the passivity and pessimism surrounding our children. I challenge this culture of silence, this culture of neutrality.

I, therefore, call upon all the governments, intergovernmental agencies, businesses, faith leaders, the civil society, and each one of us, to put an end to all forms of violence against children.

Slavery, trafficking, child marriages, child labour, sexual abuse, and illiteracy have no place in any civilised society.

Friends, we can do this.

Devli was born into intergenerational debt and bonded labour in India. Sitting in my car immediately after her rescue the eight-year-old girl asked: Why did you not come earlier? Her angry question still shakes me – and has the power to shake the world. Her question is for all of us. Why did we not come earlier? What are we waiting for? How many more Devlis will we allow to go without rescue? How many more girls will be abducted, confined and abused?

Children, like Devli across the world are questioning our inaction and watching our actions

Whose children are they who stitch footballs, yet have never played with one? They are our children. Whose children are they who mine stones and minerals? They are our children. Whose children are they who harvest cocoa, yet do not know the taste of a chocolate? They are all our children.

You and I live in the age of rapid globalisation. We are connected through high-speed Internet. We exchange goods and services in a single global market. Each day, thousands of flights connect us to every corner of the globe.

But there is one serious disconnect. It is the lack of compassion. Let us inculcate and transform the individuals’ compassion into a global movement. Let us globalise compassion. Not passive compassion, but transformative compassion that leads to justice, equality, and freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world... we shall have to begin with the children.” I humbly add, let us unite the world through the compassion for our children.

Eighteen years ago, millions of my brothers and sisters in 103 countries marched across 80,000 kilometres. And, a new international law against child labour was born. We have done this.

You may ask: what can one person do? Let me tell you a story I remember from my childhood: A terrible fire had broken out in the forest. All the animals were running away, including the lion, king of the forest. Suddenly, the lion saw a tiny bird rushing towards the fire. He asked the bird, “what are you doing?” To the lion’s surprise, the bird replied “I am on my way to extinguish the fire.” He laughed and said, “how can you kill the fire with just one drop of water, in your beak?” The bird was adamant, and said, “But I am doing my bit.”

Yet, young people like Malala, are rising up everywhere and choosing peace over violence, tolerance over extremism, and courage over fear.

Solutions are not found only in the deliberations in conferences and prescriptions from a distance. They lie in small groups and local organisations and individuals, who confront the problem every day, even if they remain unrecognised and unknown to the world I am privileged to work with many courageous souls who also refuse to accept. We have never given up against any threat and attack, and we will never. Undoubtedly, progress has been made in the last couple of decades. The number of out of school children has been halved. Child mortality and malnutrition has been reduced, and millions of child deaths have been prevented.

The number of child labourers in the world has been reduced by a third. Make no mistake, great challenges still remain. Friends, the biggest crisis knocking on the doors of humanity today is intolerance.

We have utterly failed in imparting an education to our children. An education that gives the meaning and objective of life and a secure future. An education that builds a sense of global citizenship among the young people. I am afraid that the day is not far when the cumulative result of this failure will culminate in unprecedented violence that will be suicidal for humankind.

All the great religions tell us to care for children. Jesus said: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them.” The Holy Quran says: “Kill not your children because of poverty.”

I refuse to accept that all the temples and mosques and churches and prayer houses have no place for the dreams of our children.

I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global spending on armies is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms.

I refuse to accept that all the laws and constitutions, and the judges and the police are not able to protect our children.

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

I REFUSE TO ACCEPT.

The single aim of my life is that every child is:

free to be a child,

free to grow and develop,

free to eat, sleep, see daylight,

free to laugh and cry,

free to play,

free to learn, free to go to school, and above all,

free to dream.

Twenty years ago, in the foothills of the Himalayas, I met a small, skinny boy. He asked me: “Is the world so poor that it cannot give me a toy and a book, instead of forcing me to take a tool or gun?”

I met with a Sudanese child-soldier who was kidnapped by an extremist militia. As his first training, he was forced to kill his friends and family. He asked me: “What is my fault?”

Twelve years ago, a child-mother from the streets of Colombia – trafficked, raped, enslaved – asked me this: “I have never had a dream. Can my child have one?”

There is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children.

I met with a Sudanese child-soldier who was kidnapped by an extremist militia. As his first training, he was forced to kill his friends and family. He asked me: “What is my fault?”

I have looked into their frightened and exhausted eyes. And I have heard their urgent questions: Twenty years ago, in the foothills of the Himalayas, I met a small, skinny boy. He asked me: “Is the world so poor that it cannot give me a toy and a book, instead of forcing me to take a tool or gun?”

Friends, the Nobel Committee generously invited me to deliver a “lecture.” Respectfully, I am unable to do that. I represent here 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, our children, because they are all our children.

My journey from the great land of Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak and Mahatma Gandhi; India to Norway is a connect between the two centres of global peace and brotherhood, ancient and modern.

I give the biggest credit of this honour to my movement’s Kaalu Kumar, Dhoom Das and Adarsh Kishore from India and Iqbal Masih from Pakistan who made the supreme sacrifice for protecting the freedom and dignity of children. I humbly accept this award on behalf of all such martyrs, my fellow activists across the world and my countrymen.

With a warm heart I recall how thousands of times, I have been liberated, each time I have freed a child from slavery. In the first smile of freedom on their beautiful faces, I see the Gods smiling.

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, dear brother Tom Harkin, brothers and sisters, a and my dear daughter Malala.

Kailash Satyarthi begins his Nobel acceptance speech in Hindi.

Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have received the Nobel Peace Prize for risking their lives to fight for children’s rights.



The 17—year—old Malala, the youngest ever Nobel winner, and Satyarthi, age 60, collected the award at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital to a standing ovation.



Saying that all children have a right to childhood and education instead of forced labor, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said “this world conscience can find no better expression than through” this year’s winners.



The Nobel awards in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature are set to be presented in Stockholm later Wednesday.



The award ceremonies are always held on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.



Amjad Ali Khan performs at the Nobel award ceremony.

Kailash Satyrathi, Malala Yousafzai receive Nobel diploma.





The ceremony to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai begins in Oslo.



























 

>Will work with Malala for peace in sub-continent: Satyarthi

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan founder said he personally knew Yousafzai and will tell her to carry forward her "struggle."

>Read More...

>Nobel Peace Prize recognition of civil society’s contribution, says Pranab

"The prize should be seen as recognition of the contributions of India’s vibrant civil society in addressing complex social problems."

>Read More...
 
 

>Pakistan Taliban criticises Nobel for Malala

The RSS is trying to shed its image of being an organisation of the Brahmins

>Read More...

>Obama congratulates Satyarthi, Malala on Nobel Peace prize

“In recognising Malala and Kailash, the Nobel Committee reminds us of the urgency of their work to protect the rights and freedoms of all our young people."

>Read More...
 


This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 1:47:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/2014-nobel-peace-prize-award-ceremony-to-kailash-satyarthi-and-malala-yousafzai/article6679601.ece

Next Story