Pakistani teenage education activist who was shot in head by Taliban militants while returning from school has become an icon for girl’s education. In recognition of her commitment for education UN announced to celebrate 12th July, her birthday as Malala Day and to confer Malala Award upon those who struggle for education like Malala. As per the announcement 12th July 13, 2013 was celebrated as “Malala Day” across the globe and Malala Yousafzai herself was invited to address UN youth assembly.
The recipient of the first Malala Award was also announced the same day and it goes to Razia Sultana from Indian city of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh province in recognition for her services in promoting education among children of poverty stricken laborers.
Razia Sultana, 15 was a child labor in football industry till the age of 4. She was rescued by an NGO working in the area to free innocent children from the clutches of child labor. Razia not only exceled in academics but also became a youth leader at his native place. She has a very clear mission of rescuing children from child labor and transform their lives through education. So far she has saved the lives of 48 children trapped in child labor.
The news of Razia Sultana being selected for Malala Award brought a rare wave of joy and excitement in her native place. Poor villagers including Farman, father of Razia Sultana are ignorant about the importance of Malala Award but appeared ecstatic just because this will be received by a daughter of their village.
Razia did not confine her struggle against child labor and illiteracy to her place rather worked on a bigger canvas. She travelled to different places as a role model and carried out door-to-door campaign from the platform of NGO.