By Jade Walker / The Huffington Post
Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai (right) and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi of India have won the Nobel Peace Prize 2014. Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan has saved 80,000 children so far. The two were named winner of the £690,000 (8m kronor or $1.11m) prize by the chairman of the Nobel committee – Norway’s former Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland said. Reuters/Kailash Satyarthi’s website
Yousafzai, 17, was shot in the head by Taliban militants in 2012 for having the temerity to seek an education. The Islamist militant group also took issue with her for publishing a blog in 2009 that promoted the right to education.
“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are doing is wrong, that education is our basic right,” Yousafzai said on her website.
“They can only shoot a body, they cannot shoot my dreams,” Yousafzai said. “They shot me because they wanted to tell me that, ‘we want to kill you and to stop you campaigning’, but they did the biggest mistake: they injured me, and they told me through that attack, that even death is supporting me, even death does not want to kill me.”
Yousafzai penned the bestselling book, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban,” and launched The Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on helping girls go to school and promoting their right of education. For her efforts, she has received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Union’s annual human rights award. Previous winners include Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.
Satyarthi, 60, is a children’s rights activist who has dedicated his life to helping the millions of youths in India and around the world that have been forced into slavery.
A former electrical engineer, Satyarthi has participated in countless peaceful demonstrations and protests against the exploitation of children. He has mounted raids on factories where children were forced to work, and helped free and rehabilitate thousands.
Satyarthi’s contributions have received many honors, including the Aachener International Peace Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the Wallenberg Medal and the Defenders of Democracy Award.
“The Nobel Committee 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,” the Committee stated in a press release. “Many other individuals and institutions in the international community have also contributed. It has been calculated that there are 168 million child laborers around the world today. In 2000, the figure was 78 million higher. The world has come closer to the goal of eliminating child labor.”
The two will split the Nobel award of $1.1 million.
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