In a missive to them, he said: "I am writing to congratulate you on your being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It is a matter of great joy to me that the work you have both been doing in your different circumstances to support children and their education should have been acknowledged today."

To Malala he wrote: "For someone so young you showed immense courage in the stand you took to defend girls' right to education. Later, you again showed tremendous strength as you recovered from the injuries inflicted by those who violently disagreed with you. That you have continued, unbowed, to promote the basic right to education earns only admiration."

"Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation (India) and someone I consider to be a personal mentor, has been of widespread inspiration across the world, for his dedication to peaceful, non-violent change. I see the award of this prize to you, his follower, as an acknowledgement of him as well," the Buddhist monk wrote to Satyarthi.

He expressed to both awardees his feeling that "the decision to award the Peace Prize to a man and a woman, an Indian and a Pakistani, together emphasizes that only as human brothers and sisters will we create a more peaceful, happier world".

He commended them both for "working to support children who are among the most innocent and vulnerable in society, but who are also the seeds of the future, stating that the future will only be secured if we ensure that children receive a full and equal education".

"The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to both of you serves as reminder of the fundamental importance of education if we are to improve ourselves and create a better world. It is an inspiration to children, girls and boys, everywhere," the Dalai Lama, who in 1989 was given the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for Tibet, added.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based in this northern Indian hill town.

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