Malala Impact:3 million poor Pakistani kids to get education

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Islamabad, Nov 10: The whole world celebrated Malala Day on Saturday, Nov 10 as a mark of respect to teenage Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, who is currently recuperating at a hospital in London.

It is indeed due to Malala's long term commitment to promote girls' education in Pakistan that, on Malala Day, around three million poor Pakistani kids will have access to education.

"The families of more than 3 million poor children in Pakistan will receive cash stipends if their children go to school," told a government official in Pakistan.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced that Nov 10, 2012 will be celebrated as Malala Day world over as it marks the 30-day anniversary of the Taliban attack on the 15-year-old education campaigner from Pakistan. The Express Tribune quoted Ki-Moon as saying that "Malala is an inspiration for girls education world over."

On Friday, Pakistani president Asif Zardari added his signature to petitions signed by more than a million people urging Pakistan to pay stipends to families who put their girls in school in honour of Malala. "Malala's dreams represent what is best about Pakistan," said former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he presented the petitions to President Zardari. Tens of thousands of Britons have called on the government to nominate Malala Yousufzai for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting girls' education.

On Friday, the government announced that poor families will now receive $2 a month per child in primary school. The program will be funded by the World Bank and Britain and distributed through the government's Benazir Income Support Programme, designed to give small cash payments to needy families.

Ki-Moon hoped that observing Malala day will build on the momentum of UN's Education First initiative and show that education is a right of everyone and not a privilege for a few. The teenaged girl was attacked by Taliban fighters in Mingora, the main town of Swat Valley, last month for speaking out against the militants where they controlled the region three years ago.

After undergoing surgery in Peshawar to remove a bullet lodged near her spine, Malala was flown to Britain so that she could be provided specialised care. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has threatened to target Malala and members of her family, including her father who runs a school in Mingora.

OneIndia News

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