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Child rights champs receive Nobel Prize

Child rights champs receive Nobel Prize
Highlights

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai – an Indo-Pak, Hindu-Muslim \'champions of peace\' – on Wednesday received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 for their pioneering work on promoting child rights in the troubled sub-continent, as they made an impassioned plea to globalise compassion.

The entire nation watches the ceremony in Oslo with great joy and immense pride. Congratulations @k_satyarthi! I also congratulate the young Malala Yousafzai for the momentous achievement– PM Modi

Oslo: Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai – an Indo-Pak, Hindu-Muslim 'champions of peace' – on Wednesday received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 for their pioneering work on promoting child rights in the troubled sub-continent, as they made an impassioned plea to globalise compassion.

"Satyarthi and Yousafzai are precisely the people whom Alfred Nobel in his will calls 'champions of peace'," Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Thorbjorn Jagland said in his speech before awarding them the prestigious prize here. "A young girl and a somewhat older man, one from Pakistan and one from India, one Muslim, the other Hindu; both symbols of what the world needs: more unity. Fraternity between the nations!," he added.

Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India get standing ovation, as they arrive for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.

Satyarthi, who gave up his job as an electrical engineer to run an NGO for rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking, said: "I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global military expenditure is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms." "I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be... Stronger than the quest for freedom," said 60-year-old Satyarthi, who asked the audience to feel the child inside them and globalise compassion.

The audience included King Harald V of Norway and Pakistan's former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, he 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.” Satyarthi's NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) prides itself on liberating over 80,000 children from bonded labour in factories and workshops across India.

Proud recipients display Nobel Peace Prize diplomas and medals.

Satyarthi and 17-year-old Malala, who survived a near-fatal Taliban attack two years ago with determination advocating education for girls, were named by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for the prestigious award on October 10. They received the Nobel medal which is 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold and weighs around 175 grams. They will share $1.1 million prize money.

Malala, who was nominated in the peace prize category last year also, became the youngest ever Nobel laureate. In her speech, she said, "I am honoured to receive this award together with Kailash Satyarthi, 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."

"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," she said in her acceptance speech. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated both. "The entire nation watches the ceremony in Oslo with great joy and immense pride. Congratulations @k_satyarthi! I also congratulate the young Malala Yousafzai for the momentous achievement," he tweeted soon after the awards were conferred.

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