Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, hopes to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge him to invest more in education and to ensure women are protected from sexual abuse so India develops at a faster rate.
Malala, 18, who has met several world leaders since her Nobel accolade, told Hindustan Times it would be “a great opportunity” to meet Modi and added that it had “always been my dream” to visit India, from where she has received many letters of support.
After she was announced the 2014 Nobel winner along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, she wanted Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the ceremony in Stockholm, but regretted it did not happen.
“It was my wish that both the prime ministers come for the peace prize ceremony because the two laureates, one was from Pakistan and one from India, Kailash Satyarthi. He is doing amazing work for children’s rights. It would have been a great opportunity for the prime ministers to come but it didn’t happen” she said.
“It would be a great opportunity to meet the Prime Minister of India and to talk about how we can help, specially girls in India, to provide them protection and education, so that they feel safe in society…this violent crime of girls being sexually abused, how we can end this.”
Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for demanding girls’ right to education, said whenever she met world leaders, she urged them to invest more in education.
“If I meet Modi, the goal will remain the same, it would be about education of girls in India, about their protection, about their safety, how we can empower them because India is huge country with a lot of talent and wonderful children with lots of dreams,” she said.
“It is important that girls are given an education, like boys, so the country can grow at a faster rate”, she said on Friday after a private screening in London of a documentary on her, ‘He Named Me Malala’, which is due for release in India on 6 November.
She said the Malala Fund was working in education in several countries, and she was hopeful of initiating similar projects in India, building on support from social activists, actors and others helping the campaign through the documentary.