It’s 2023, and India’s economy has emerged as the third largest in the world, growing at a rapid pace. Despite this progress, some longstanding issues continue to plague the country and hinder its development, with child labour being a prominent concern. Shockingly, statistics indicate that 43 lakh laborers in India are below the age of 18. Numerous social reformers have dedicated their efforts to eradicating this problem, but none have been as influential as Kailash Satyarthi, the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan and a Nobel Prize winner.
Mr. Satyarthi is a renowned social activist who has relentlessly fought against child labour, slavery, and trafficking. His unwavering dedication has helped rescue around 86,000 children from such atrocities. In 1998, he spearheaded the Global March against Child Labour, covering a staggering distance of 80,000 kilometers across 103 countries, thereby creating one of the largest social movements in history. His contributions to various international organizations, serving on their boards and committees, have further bolstered his leadership position.
Fortune Magazine recognized Mr. Satyarthi as one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders” in 2015, a testament to his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to social causes. His power and influence have been further reinforced by his inclusion in LinkedIn’s Power Profile List in 2017 and 2018. Today, Kailash Satyarthi stands tall as a beacon of hope for the future of India, inspiring generations to come with his extraordinary leadership in the fight against child labour.
Kailash Satyarthi: Education and Early Life
Kailash Satyarthi was born in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. His father is a retired Police Head Constable, and his mother is a housewife. Since childhood, he has been guided and influenced by his mother`s exceptionally idealistic and helpful nature.
He completed his schooling at Government Boys High School, Vidisha. Then he went to Samrat Ashok Technological Institution to pursue an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and went to the University of Bhopal for further studies.
Kailash Satyarthi Career
After completing his education, he joined his alma mater as a professor for a few years but was always affected by the lack of access to school for all children in his hometown and the poverty in which he was raised. For this purpose, he gave up his career as an electrical engineer and founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 1980. He conceived the idea of and led the Global Labour March Against Child Labour and its international advocacy body, ICCLE Worldwide Coalition of NGOs, teachers, and trade unionists. He particularly focused on campaigns for raising consumer awareness on issues relating to the accountability of global corporations regarding socially responsible consumerism.
In 1998, he conceived and led the Global March Child Labour and traveled across 103 countries to demand an International Law on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which led to the adoption of ILO Convention No 182. He was president of the Global Campaign for Education from 1999-2011 and is one of the 4 founders. He established Good Weak International, the first voluntary labeling, monitoring, and manufacturing system of rugs without child labour in South Asia. Satyarthi also has the leading role in linking child labour with the effort to achieve education for all. He also served on the Centre for Victims of Torture boards and committee, the International Labour Rights Fund, and International Cocoa Fund. For his struggles against the suppression of young people and the rights of all children to education, Satyarthi was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace in 2014. He has found a number of organizations. Some of the prominent ones are: –
- The Kailash Satyarthi Children`s Foundation s, established in 2004, spreads awareness and advocates for beneficial policies for children’s rights.
- He formed the Global Campaign for Education and became president in 1999. This organization promotes children`s and adults’ education through research and advocacy.
Satyarthi launched Bharat Yatra to spread awareness about child trafficking and sexual abuse. He launched the campaign in Kanyakumari on 11 September 2017. This movement aimed at starting a social dialog about child sexual abuse and child trafficking, and other taboo issues. This yatra matched through 7 routes through 22 Indian states and union territories covering about 12000 km. The campaign collaborated with 5000 civil society organizations, 60 Indian Faith leaders, 500 Indian political leaders, 600 local, state, and national bodies of the Indian Government, 300 members of the Indian judiciary, and about 25000 educational institutions across India. The yatra continued for 35 days, leading to the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018 with a strict deterrent against child rape.
Kailash Satyarthi Awards
In the course of his dedicated social work for children, Satyarthi has been felicitated with numerous awards; prominent ones are: –
- The Trumpeter Award
- Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Awards
- Friedrich Ebert Stiltang Award
- Nobel Peace Prize
Kailash Satyarthi Books
He has written several books focusing on his message to inform the world about Child labour and trafficking. Some of them are:
- Globalization, Development, And Child Rights
- Will for Children
- … Because Words Matter
- Every Child Matters
Kailash Satyarthi: A True Hero
Nobel Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi’s Top of Formlife and work serve as an inspiration to people all over the world. His relentless dedication and unwavering commitment to the cause of eradicating child labour, slavery, and trafficking have resulted in the rescue of thousands of children from such atrocities. His leadership and influence have been recognized by numerous international organizations, and he has been honoured with several awards. Satyarthi’s message of hope and his tireless efforts continue to inspire people to work towards a better and more just world for all. His legacy will undoubtedly continue to impact generations to come, making him a true hero of our times.