02/05/2016 7:58 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Sri Sri Says Malala Did Not Deserve Nobel Prize

The India Today Group via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA MARCH 13: Sri Sri Ravishankar during the World Culture Festival on the banks of Yamuna River in New Delhi.(Photo by K Asif/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Expressing his disapproval over awarding Malala Yousafzai with a Nobel Peace Prize, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday said he would never accept the award since he believed only in working and not in being honoured for it.

The founder of The Art Of Living Foundation said he was offered the Nobel Prize in the past but had refused to accept it.

The leader, who was in drought-hit Latur district of Maharashtra where his organisation is engaged in relief work, was asked whether he was interested in getting a Nobel Prize for peace.

He also questioned the decision to award Yousafzai with Nobel Peace Prize last year. “What is the importance of an award when it is being presented to a 16-year-old girl, without even looking at what she has contributed,” The Economic Times reported.

However, the Art Of Living Foundation issued a statement saying the media had misquoted the spiritual guru. According to the statement, Ravi Shankar had said, "When a 16-year-old girl, without any body of work, gets the prize, you get a sense that you don't need to do much to get the Peace Prize. There are political factors at play."

The guru, in his meeting with several organisations, insisted on taking measures to ensure that the distressed farmers and their families are not forced to take extreme steps.

“The government has to work towards a sustainable model and should take appropriate steps towards the rising farmer suicides in the state. I also appeal to farmers of the state to not commit suicide as that is not the ultimate solution for all the problems arising out of drought,” he said.

According the spiritual leader, AOL’s project 'Jal Jagruti Abhiyaan' has benefited over two lakh people in the drought-affected districts of Maharashtra since its launch in 2013. The project aims to rejuvenate water sources that have dried up due to erratic monsoons and overuse of ground water.The major work includes removal of silt on dried up water bodies.

"Over two lakh people have been benefited in the state since launch of the project in 2013. About 28.5 lakh cubic meters of silt have been removed from six rivers in Latur, one of the worst drought-hit districts, due to which 10,150 acres of land have been irrigated," Ravi Shankar, said yesterday.

Contact HuffPost India

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