Malala's like my daughter, honoured to share Nobel with her, says Kailash Satyarthi

As Nobel laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai addressed a press conference in Oslo, where they will receive this year's Nobel Prize for Peace, Satyarthi said Malala is like his daughter.

"Malala's like my daughter. She is the bravest child one can think of," said Satyarthi, adding that it was an honour for him to receive the award with her.

Satyarthi then dedicated the Nobel Peace Prize to all the underprivileged children.

Kailash Satyarthi with Malala Yousafzai in Oslo. PTI

Kailash Satyarthi with Malala Yousafzai in Oslo. PTI

Satyarthi, 60, also said that this Nobel Prize was an effective way to raise awareness about children. "This Prize is very important for millions of children who are denied their childhood," said Satyarthi. "There are children who are sold like animals...children who are forced into prostitution.. The children who are made hostages. The children who are made child soldiers. This award is important for all of them," he added.

"Even if a single child is in danger, the entire world is in danger," said the Indian Nobel laureate. "As I am talking to you there are millions of children who are denied this freedom. We need to work for them. I feel a deep sense of moral responsibility through this Prize."

17-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize, also acknowlegded Satyarthi as her father. "I am honoured to sit with my father," she said, pointing towards Satyarthi.

"You have to speak for yourself. Learn to fight for yourself," said Malala. "When you raise a voice, it brings about change," she said, adding that her struggle for education against the Taliban had brought about significant changes.

"We strongly believe in Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, but unfortunately there are people who don't know about this religion," said Malala.

"Children all over the world ask for nothing special. They just ask for a school," she said. "It is our right to go to school. Why should we fight for something we deserve?"

Both Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi will share the $1.1-million Peace Prize. The Nobel Laureates will take centrestage in Sweden’s capital Stockholm and Norwegian Oslo, where they will receive the Nobel medals, Nobel diplomas and documents confirming the Nobel Prize amount.

Malala also said that even though it was her wish that the Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan be present at the ceremony in Oslo, she had not received any confirmation so far of either Indian PM Narendra Modi or Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif attending the event.

"India and Pakistan were once one nation. There should now be no hatred between the two nations," said Malala."You (India) have Kailash Satyarthi, what more do you need? Let's teach children to understand peace is, then we will soon become Bhai-bhai again."

Kailash Satyarthi also said that the most important priority between India and Pakistan should be peace, especially among children and youth. "I will struggle to bring about peace among children and youngsters in India, Pakistan and other countries," he said.

"Consciousness is beginning of change," said Satyarthi. "People became conscious of the problems faced by children through this Prize," he said.

On being questioned about what the consumers could do to stop child labour, Satyarthi said, "Consumers must ensure that a commodity is not a result of child labour. They must demand the shopkeeper to tell them whether child labour was involved in the production process." He also said, "If you want to see a better world, begin with the children."

When Malala was asked whether a Nobel Prize at such a young age was a lot of pressure for her, she said, "I was already feeling the pressure when I began fighting for children. The Nobel Prize only seems like a pressure. But it's actually an opportunity."

"Apart from giving education to children, we should look at the quality of education being given to the child," said Malala. She also spoke on women empowerment issues. "Portrayal of women in media is also important. If we show a woman as a toy, it will affect the mindset in a negative way," she said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Dec 09, 2014 20:10 PM

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