Child rights crusader Kailash Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace prize with Malala Yousafzai, on Friday said he will ask the Pakistani teenager to join him in fighting against exploitation of children, besides working together for peace in the sub—continent.
The Bachpan Bachao Andolan founder said he personally knew Yousafzai and will tell her to carry forward the “struggle” as it was “very important” that children in both India and Pakistan are born and live in peace.
His remarks came soon after the Nobel Committee announced the award saying it “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”, in what is being seen as a symbolic move to nudge towards peace the two countries that have been mired in hostilities for decades and traded heavy fire on border in recent days.
“I know her (Malala) personally. I will ask her that besides our fight for child rights and education for children, particularly for girls, we have to go a step further and work for peace in our sub—continent. For India and Pakistan, it is very important that our children are born and live in peace,” Satyarthi said.
He has been leading the Bachpan Bachao Andolan in rescuing over 80,000 children from forced labour with the help of local administration in a number of states including Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Delhi.
Malala had shot into limelight after the Taliban militants pumped bullets into her for advocating education for girls. She was airlifted to Britain and was treated for months.
The 17-year-old Yousafzai is the youngest winner of the coveted prize. Satyarthi said he will call Malala and congratulate her on winnig the award.
Malala, who was nominated in the peace prize category last year also, had displayed tremendous courage even after the Taliban attack when she resolutely expressed her determination to carry on with her campiagn for child rights and girls education especially in a country like Pakistan.
The 60—year—old Satyarthi dedicated the award to people of India and vowed to work with renewed vigour against exploitation of children and to ensure their welfare.