The Hollywood-Bollywood actor was speaking on Saturday at a panel session during the Global Education and Skills Forum.- Photo by Dhes Handumon/Khaleej Times
Dubai - She said that she was really shaken by the vulnerability of the Syrian refugee kids.
Priyanka Chopra, the Indian actor and UN's Goodwill Ambassador, sees hope for the future generation after witnessing how youth in the US came together to protest gun violence.
The Hollywood-Bollywood actor was speaking on Saturday at a panel session during the Global Education and Skills Forum, alongside Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister; and Matthew Opoku Prempeh, education mnister of Ghana.
Chopra touched on topics ranging from what makes a student a global citizen to her experience of visiting Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.
"The one thing we are all here to discuss is education, that's such a big cause that I am hugely attached to," she said.
"Not because I'm some prolific person who wants to change the world but because it's something so basic and logic - it's that fact that education empowers people. The ability to take your future in your own hands is a basic human right that cannot be denied to any child around the world.
"People, no matter where they are, can have a conversation and be empowered. If you see the protest that happened, with what children in the US did over gun control, an entire generation of people coming out saying they're not going to put up with this anymore. I do see hope for this generation. Hopefully, 2030 should be a different world they'll be living in. Kids should not be subjected to the things they are, they should be given books, they should not be afraid of getting shot in a classroom."
She said that she was really shaken by the vulnerability of the Syrian refugee kids. She visited a camp in Jordan recently with Unicef. Chopra shed light on how Unicef has set up various educational facilities for these children.
"These are children that can immediately feel that the world has forgotten about them. Every child that I spoke to in that camp wanted to return back to Syria and rebuild it and education is what gives them the power. Considering the world today, there is a whole generation we might lose.
"I've travelled all over the world and I've had the amazing fortune to meet many people. But I think despite what has happened around the globe, and not just in South Asia, India, America, we're still bound by borders and geography, by race and language.
"So, I think being a global citizen is exactly that - it doesn't matter where a child comes from, whether he's from Sierra Leone, the UAE, India or America. Each child needs to have a right to be able to bring this world together as humans instead of thinking which country is better than other. Being a global citizen and community is important, but I think children are not there yet. We need to to cultivate these values."