I am here to tell you a story. A story of a little girl who with her resilience, strength, determination and willpower has gone all out to do everything in her might to change the world. Her voice might be extremely soft, bordering on melodious, and her face may exude innocence in ways like no other; but do not be misled by her delicate countenance. Her power is capable of surpassing the strongest of forces put together. She harbours no hatred, no grudge against those who once harmed her, against those who are afraid of the potential she possesses. Against those who fear the fact that a girl with an education is more powerful than all the armaments of the world combined. Her name is Malala Yousafzai and she is no ordinary girl.
She was attacked because all she wanted was education and a healthier life for herself and the women around her. All she wanted was to make this planet a better place to live in but this did not go down well with certain sections of her society. She was seen as a hindrance and every effort was made to stop her from breathing. But things that don’t kill you only make you stronger and Malala is a living example of the same. Bullets do not silence people; instead, they give birth to “thousands of voices”.
The United Nations declared the 12thÂ of July, 2013, as ‘Malala Day’ as it marked the 16thÂ birthday of this braveheart. And in her first public speech since being shot by the Taliban, she asserted upon the right of education for every child and how books and pens are the strongest weapons to transform the world; while her teary-eyed mother looked on. She even demanded education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban extremists who attacked her. However, her humility was in no way lost in the crowd of her persuasive words as she eagerly thanked everyone for their good wishes and constant support which aided her recovery. The admiration that the audience had for the birthday girl was more than evident, their eyes reflected the reverence.
“So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak, not for myself, but for all girls and boys. I raise up my voice, not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard“Â affirmed Malala. Her belief that God is not a “tiny little conservative” who sends girls to hell for going to school speaks volumes about the visionary that she happens to be. Malala’s words, despite their simplicity are effective in unimaginable ways and this probably is the reason why she is one of the most influential people in the world. They say that the pen is mightier than the sword and this girl is determined to prove just that. Her story has inspiration written all over it and she certainly is someone who has the calibre to surpass legends like Mahatma Gandhi, whom she holds in high regard.
All we need to do is accept the fact that a little girl can teach us some of the most valuable lessons of life. You are exemplary Malala, a gem that we are lucky to have and extremely proud of. If I ever have a daughter, I hope she turns out to be exactly like you. And as the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon said:Â “Malala, you are not alone. We are all with you, standing behind you”.