Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol for restoring the right to education for every child in this world. She sums up her cause when she says “I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can’t get education. I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.”
And Malala has signed up a 3 million dollar deal to do just that - to tell her story. The book, which is to be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in Commonwealth countries and by Little, Brown elsewhere, is titled “I am Malala”. It will release by the end of 2013.
A 15-year old girl bagging 3 million dollars to tell her story isn’t something that happens every other day. Many may wonder whether her story is so significant so as to be so mightily priced. But not everyone gets shot in the head by the Taliban and then makes a dream-like recovery only to challenge them again. Malala’s story is not just a fairytale that happened to become real. It is a story of gut, will and determination. It is a story of truth.
Whether Malala’s story deserves 3 million dollars or not is a different question. But every child must know her story. Every child must know what it takes, in certain parts of the world, to educate oneself. The book talks about how girls in Pakistan struggle against the whims of the society, to earn education for themselves. Not every child knows of Malala’s story. But they must. It is time children all over the world realise the value of education - which has somehow come into their hands very easily.
That which is achieved with ease is seldom given due respect. Education is no different. Malala’s story presents the truth about education and the society’s take on it. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to know for all those who enjoy a different side of the truth.