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Burning of schools in Kashmir unacceptable: Kailash Satyarthi

NEW DELHI: Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi today termed the burning of schools in Kashmir as unacceptable and claimed that extremists are doing it as they are scared that education will open up the minds of children and they would't be able to use them for their vested interests.

"Education is attacked, schools are burnt, teachers are kidnapped and children are killed, this is a widespread global phenomenon. The extremists are scared that education will open up the minds of children.

"They want to create a situation where children cannot get education. For if they go to schools, they will learn about technology, citizenship, peer to peer relationship, mutual respect, history, culture and values, and then they won't be able to brainwash and use them for their own vested interests," he said.

He was speaking during the launch of a global initiative 'Nobel Laureates and Leaders for the Children'. The platform aims to bring together Nobel laureates and world leaders who would commit to accelerating progress and achieving breakthroughs to benefit children, by signing a declaration.

He said the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, is convening the first-ever gathering called the 'Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit' on December 10-11 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. The summit will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee.

"Thirty-four nobel laureates extended their support to the initiative and 14 of them would assemble here in Delhi and participate in the summit. In addition, 150 eminent personalities from academia, corporate sector, sports, industry, media and civil society will also be present," Satyarthi said.

He said Malala Yousafzai, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with him, has neither refused nor given the consent to be a part of the programme.

During the summit, the '100 million for 100 million' campaign will be launched which aims to mobilise over the next five years, 100 million youths for as many underprivileged children across the world.

Dalai Lama, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, wife of late former South African president Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, Nobel Prize winner and former president of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta, Prof Yuan Lee would be attending the event.

Other distinguished representatives of organisations which have been conferred the Nobel Peace Prize will also be in attendance like Tawakkul Karman, Liberian activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of the United Arab Emirates, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Leading US economist and UN special adviser Jeffrey Sachs.

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