“This march is a march from darkness to light,
from fear to freedom, from shame to holding your head up towards dignity.”
It is with this belief and vision that Kailash
Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2014) and a human rights activist from India,
has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and
exploitative child labor for over 35 years now. He has sought to
eradicate all forms of violence against children including sexual abuse and
trafficking. He has rescued over 80,000 child slaves and developed a successful
model for their education and rehabilitation.
Satyarthi has embarked on a historic Bharat Yatra to spearhead the fight
against child trafficking and sexual abuse across the country.
“ I declare a war on the rape of the children of this country. I am compelled
to march across the length and breadth of India because I cannot merely mourn
the death of the conscience of the nation. When
a child is raped, morality dies”
The yatra flagged off on September 11th
from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari and will pass through 22
states and union territories over 35 days covering over 11,000 kilometres, stretching
to western India and reaching Delhi. The Yatra on the Eastern side will
commence from Guwahati, while Srinagar will flag off the northern stretch. All
these stretches will culminate in the national capital of Delhi, on the 16th of
October this year.
Satyarthi fondly said, “Kanyakumari holds a special place in my heart. The
previous Bharat Yatra I undertook, which was the Shiksha Yatra of 2001, was
also launched from Kanyakumari and progressed to New Delhi. The flag off from
Kanyakumari the Vivekananda Memorial, commemorates the anniversary of the great
leader’s address at Chicago in 1893.”
Satyarthi has been preparing for many months, leading up to the Yatra and has
met faith leaders and religious heads in New Delhi & Ajmer who have assured
him of their support wherever his campaigns go. He has also met corporates
leaders from PayTM, Godrej,BSE etc. and has received overwhelming response for
his fight against child sexual abuse and trafficking. Mr. Satyarthi wishes to
involve all possible stakeholders in the Bharat Yatra, as only then will India
witness a true revolution and a change in the mindset of the people.
the duration of the Yatra, grassroot programs will witness participation of
school and college students, along with leaders from diverse social, cultural,
religious, media and corporate organisations. Each day, thousands of residents
would join them in solidarity and support. The programs will use theater, music
and folklore in local languages to create mass awareness against violence
inflicted on children.
Mr Kailash Satyarthi, “I believe more the people, louder the voice, greater the
awareness and faster the action. The Bharat Yatra aims to build a universal
consensus. The vision that I have dreamt and nurtured for several decades- a
world free of child sexual abuse and violence against children must now become
the motto of every citizen of India. Only then we will see our children, safe
has the largest child population in the world with 444.1 million. It accounts for 36% of the total
population of the country. While children are the bedrock of our nation and its economic development, what is
worrisome is the growing menace of child sexual abuse and child trafficking,
says Mr Satyarthi. “If child labour,
slavery, trafficking, and violence against children continues, we will fail to
accomplish most of the development goals,” he firmly emphasizes.
“It is critical to
both strengthen laws against trafficking and abuse and sensitize citizens to
not remain silent about violence
inflicted on children. The POCSO Act is a step in the right direction to curb
violence against children. We applaud the lawmakers of this country for
diligently carrying forward the implementation of this. The law needs to be strengthened even more to
be able to curb the magnitude of crime being committed against our children,”
Satyarthi is credited to be the
architect of the single largest civil society network for the exploited
children. His movement, “The Global
March Against Child Labour”, whose mobilization
of unions, civil society and children led to the adoption of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labor in 1999. With his undying efforts to help children afford the
childhood they deserve, Mr Satyarthi established that child labour is responsible for the perpetuation of poverty,
unemployment, illiteracy, population explosion and many other social evils.
The World over, two children
are sold every minute. Between
600,000 and 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international
borders each year. This trafficking is helping in generating a profit of USD 32 billion annually. Approximately 80% are women and girls; up to
50% are minors.
With a vision to
eradicate all forms of violence against children over five years, Mr Satyarthi launched the ‘100 million for
100 million’ campaign in December 2016. The campaign seeks to highlight the
menace of child abuse and child
trafficking globally and mobilize people to push for a conducive policy
framework to curb trafficking of children. What he achieved with his unwavering commitment and passion concerning child labor, he intends to achieve for child trafficking and child sexual
abuse as well. In short, Mr Satyarthi refuses to rest on his laurels. His
passion for seeing every child in this world
live safe and free is motivating him to
be on his feet.
To mobilize the support of leaders across the
world, Mr Satyarthi and his Foundation, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s
Foundation, brought together Nobel laureates and leaders on a single platform,
to harness they’re collective
intellectual, moral and political will to build a child-free world.
Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit held in December 2016, concentrated
on building a strong moral platform for protecting all children from violence and ensuring the world where all children are free to be children. This Summit
sought to amplify the collective leadership and moral authority of Nobel
laureates across different fields, world leaders and champions of children’s
rights. Some of the Noble Laureate who was
part of the Summit is The Dalai Lama, Her
Excellency Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia (2010-13), Mr Angel
Gurria, Secretary General, OCED, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Princess
Laurentin of the Netherlands.
strength of Mr Satyarthi’s passion lies in the belief that youth across the
world are looking to change the mindset of people and the norms of law to
protect and nurture children. He
firmly believes in children’s freedom from all kinds of exploitation- be it
sexual, physical or mental, and is determined to continue to fight for their
safety, security and happiness, till violence against children is eradicated across the world.
Disclaimer: The article & images used in this blog are the property of pr24x7 & the data is compiled by them.