Kailash Satyarthi on Friday became only the second Indian to be awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. He shared the award with Pakistani child rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who shot to the limelight two years ago after she was shot in the face by Taliban gunmen for insisting on going to school.
Satyarthi is a Delhi-based child rights activist who runs the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), or Save Childhood Movement. So far, his organisation claims to have freed more than 80,000 children from child labour.
ALSO READ: Kailash Satyarthi: A profile
The organization creates consumer resistance across the globe to products made by children in bonded labour. They also facilitate legal and advocacy work.
In an interview to the Wall Street Journal in 2011, Satyarthi said that he realised over a period of time that it wasn’t possible to change the system single-handedly and so he formed Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). He believes that BBA isn’t a typical NGO but more of a movement.
He is also largely accredited for enactment and adoption of national and international legislations, treaties and conventions as well as the constitutional amendment on child labour and education
Satyarthi was also instrumental in starting and popularising the ‘Rugmark’ label (now rebranded as Goodweave), which indicates that no child labour was used in the manufacture of a piece of clothing in South Asia.
He has been awarded with the Freedom Award (US) in 2006, the Medal of the Italian Senate (2007), the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award from Germany in 1999 and the Alfonso Comin International Award from Spain in 2008.
Who is Kailash Satyarthi
- Born: 11 January 1954, Vidisha, India
- 1975- 80: Graduated in Electrical Engineering, diploma in high voltage engineering and later taught at a college in Bhopal.
- 1980: Founded and edited Hindi fortnightly, The struggle shall continue, which focused on human rights issues.
- 1983: Founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a movement campaigning for rights of children.Over 80,000 children saved so far through the movement from child labour.
- 1989: Co- Founded the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS).
- 1994: Started Rugmark, a social labeling program in which rugs are labeled and certified to be child-labour-free by factories that agree to be regularly inspected.
- 1995: Won the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award.
- 1998: Organized the Global march against Child Labour across 103 countries
- 2004: Brutally attacked while rescuing children from a local circus, Great Roman Circus. Attacked again in 2011 while rescuing children from garment sweatshops in Delhi.
- 2011: Bal Mitra Gram (BMG) programme started in 2011 where child labourers are withdrawn from work to be enrolled in school.
- Member of a High Level Group formed by UNESCO on Education for All comprising of select Presidents, Prime Ministers and UN Agency Heads.
- Indian government yet to confer any civilian award on him so far.
- Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of UK visited in during his state visit in 2009.
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