Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi is on a mission to end child slavery in India and worldwide. He hopes that he will achieve this in his lifetime.
Speaking at the launch event of his first Hindi book “Azad Bachpan Ki Aur,” he said:
“We are moving towards freedom of children and I am going to see the end of child slavery in my lifetime. 35 years are not too many years in the history of human kind and 35 years ago this was a non-issue in my country as well as world over.”
He said people have started accepting that children are being enslaved and the society has to find an end to it.
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) January 8, 2016
His book includes articles by him on landmark movements, judgments, events and prominent policy intervention in his three decade long struggle for child rights.
The book touches issues related to child labour, rescue operations, trafficking, child slavery, sexual abuse against children and illiteracy.
Justice Dipak Misra, Judge, Supreme Court of India, who launched the book, said: “This book brings Satyarthi’s work which has been instrumental for judicial deliberation in respect of cases pertaining to trafficking, missing children, child labour and abuse. I am certain that the book will serve as an inspiration for all to work towards building a better future for our children.”
“This is my first book and I am proud it has been published in my mother tongue. The collection of articles in this book has been written at the most emotional and physically draining time of my life when I was fighting aggressively to rescue children,” Satyarthi said.
Satyarthi, 61, has long campaigned against child labour and rescued children from servitude. His efforts to combat child labor, and to move children out of work and into school, have resulted in thousands of children rescued from hazardous industries followed by their rehabilitation.
He has rescued children from companies that include football makers, garment factories, diamond miners and carpet makers.
Satyarthi has often staged dangerous and daring raids on factories which employed children.
Because of the dangers involved in his work, he has endured death threats and two of his colleagues were even murdered.
According to him, somebody has to accept the challenge whatever dangers are there.
He said he has received death threats from the middleman who kidnap children to work in garment factories. He was also injured badly while rescuing child slaves from stone quarries in Rajasthan.
According to Laxman Singh, he was rescued by Kailash Satyarthi when he was working as a stone quarry labourer at the age of 7, in Faridabad. Singh was among 2,500 workers and their children who were rescued from the stone quarry by a team of activists, led by Satyarthi — his first rescue operation.
Born on January 11, 1954, in Vidisha, located near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Kailash Satyarthi, gave up his career as an electrical engineer more than 30 years ago to start `Bachpan Bachao Andolan`.
Since then, by his own count, he has rescued more than 80,000 children.
He also heads the Global March Against Child Labour, which represents about 2,000 social groups and union organisations in 140 countries.
The list of awards conferred to him includes Defenders of Democracy Award (2009-US), Medal of the Italian Senate (2007-Italy), Robert F Kennedy International Human Rights Award (USA) and Fredric Ebert International Human Rights Award (Germany) etc.
A total of 5,252 child labours were rescued across the country between January 1, 1010, to December 31, 2014. Out of these, 3,022 were below 14 years of age, while 2,231 fell in the 14-17 years group.