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Malala excited to expand her Gulmakai Network initiative to India

The young activist agreed the issues were very much same in India and Pakistan with the two being one country before and having the same culture.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2018 15:29 IST
Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai gestures while talking during a session at the Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 25, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.
Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai gestures while talking during a session at the Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 25, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (AFP)

Overwhelmed with the love and support she gets from Indians, young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has said she wants to visit the country and work for the girls there.

The 20-year-old Malala, who was shot at by Taliban at the age of 15 for defying the ban on girls going to school and went on to get a Nobel peace prize and become the UN Messenger of Peace, said she has already learnt a lot about India and is a big fan of its movies and drama and wants to learn more about its culture and values.

She was here to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, held from January 22-26, and during her visit met a number of global leaders and CEOs to seek their support for the girl education. She has co-founded Malala Fund that seeks to invest in girl education across the world, while one of its initiative Gulmakai Network -- named on Malala’s pen name that she used while writing blogs against Taliban regime -- supports the work of education champions across the world.

In an interview here with PTI, Malala said she is very excited about expanding her Gulmakai Network to India, where she would want to work with the local people as they best understand the local issues and can suggest necessary solutions as well.

Excited to see so much “snow to the level of her height” on her first visit to Davos, the young activist agreed the issues were very much same in India and Pakistan with the two being one country before and having the same culture.

Brimming with excitement while talking about India, Malala said, “The support that I have received from India has been overwhelming and I want to thank everyone in India for their love and support. I get so many letters of support from India”.

Recalling one such letter, she said there is one girl who sent her a letter saying she wanted to be Prime Minister of India and that “one day we both will be Prime Ministers and then we will negotiate and bring peace between the two countries”.

“That touched my heart that the future generation is not only thinking about education but they, especially girls, want to be leaders as well. They want to be PMs, presidents and this gives me hope for the future,” she said.

Stating that she wants to visit India, Malala said, “I have watched so many Indian dramas and films and I know already a lot about the country. I know Hindi as well that I learnt from Indian TV channels. We connect in many ways and there is a lot to learn from each other’s culture and values”.

As I am concerned about girls in Pakistan, I am also concerned about girls in India and the number is in millions, she said.

“When we talk about the future of India and future of Pakistan then we have to invest in our girls because they are the future. How can we make our future better and brighter when we ignore these millions of girls by not giving them education. When we educate girls, we are not just educating them individually but we are also empowering them and we are giving them opportunity to earn for themselves,” she said.