Saturday, 11 October 2014

Nobel Peace Prize 2014 and the International Day of the Girl Child

I was very happy to read that the Nobel Peace Prize this year was awarded jointly to an Indian and Pakistani committed to the cause of education and liberation of children.

The Nobel Prizes website had this announcement on October 10, 2014 (exactly three months to date to the ceremony in Oslo on Human Rights Day - 10th December):

The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education"
"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." 

We must not forget its shared between a man and a woman as well!!

"Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on the day she was notified of her win of the prestigious prize invited Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif to the ceremony where she and fellow awardee India's Kailash Satyarthi will receive the prestigious honour.
To quote a Rediff Live report:

"I myself requested that honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and honourable prime minister Nawaz Sharif bothjoin us," she said while mentioning that she had already spoken to Satyarthi on inviting Modi and Sharif to join them in the Norwegian capital Oslo for the award ceremony in December.

At a time when relations between South Asian neighbours India and Pakistan is strained the Peace Prize being shared by individuals sharing a passion for the rights and right to education of future generations is telling. Indo-Pak relations remain strained since the cancellation of talks earlier in the year, exacerbated during the UN session in  New York and as a result of shelling by Pakistan along the international border, as well as repeated attempts by terrorists to infiltrate into Indian territories through the Pakistani border just as the state of Jammu and Kashmir recovers from devastating floods and a low-key Eid celebration.  

Perhaps the awarding of the Peace Prize to an Gandhian educator and liberator of child labourer from India and young girl from Pakistan passionate about educating the girl child in particular and children in general is a harbinger of good times for the region. The Nobel Peace Prize gets the rewarded cause in the news and gets funds and volunteers flowing into the celebrated cause. 

The education and empowerment of future generations is a timely cause and needs the interest and funds that will flow in as a result of the sharing of the 8 million Swedish Krona peace prize. 
At today's (International Day of the Girl Child) exchange rate the prize share per participant in Indian rupees is 3,38,51,781.78/- ( ~ Rs. 3.4 crores or 33.8 million!).
 (Above a message from the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child  - a cause relevant to both Nobel Peace Prize recipients)

Another lady minister from Indian - the youngest, the Human Resources Development minister Smriti Irani on the day of the announcement of the 2014 #NobelPeacePrize launched a social awareness programme for the girl child "I Am" at a school here, expressing the hope such programmes will empower especially those who are struggling to have two square meals a day.

This win is quite unexpected especially when bettors had favoured the pope or just Malala not a sharing of the prize with Kailash Satyarti.
The Nobel Peace Prize is always controversial not always well received. Envy may be a factor but in many cases its the fact that the winner doesn't seem as deserving as nominees that year.

This time too there are tensions and unhappiness in the midst of the general mood of good cheer. Personal reactions in India to the 60-year-old child rights activist's win and media reports to the 17-year-old 's win can be sidelined when one thinks about the amount of interest and funds that will flow into this deserving cause.

Both the Guardian and the BBC highlight the tensions,

As one headline claims:

Nobel peace prize winners say award is a boost for children’s rights worldwide!

Three Cheers for the Nobel Peace Prize winners!
Three Cheers for Child Rights!

1 comment:

  1. I found this post to be very crisp and to the point. It gave a balanced perspective to the different sides of the story. Keep up the good work :)