Society has celebrated children even as it has denied fundamental rights and dignity to millions of them. Mass movements and social awareness against injustices like child labour, lack of access to health and education, child sexual abuse and trafficking have been catalysed by reformers like Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. As a result of his untiring efforts, child labour is now universally considered to be a social evil that has to be abolished. Equally important, societies and governments across the world have accepted that access to quality education is the fundamental right of every child. Even as he has fought for justice and dignity for children, Mr. Satyarthi has found time to provoke, inspire and illuminate young minds by writing about children, their dreams and the power of their humanity.
This book is a compilation of columns and interviews which highlight the continuing struggle to create safe childhoods. Readers will find much to introspect after going through this collection.
Children Need Global Help—11
Choosing the Right Heroes—14
Finally, Reason to Rejoice for the Children of India—18
How My Life Changed—21
India Fights Back Against Child Sex Abuse—24
Let’s Move Beyond Rhetoric and Rituals—27
March with Me and Stop Children being Robbed of Childhood —30
New Juvenile Justice Law: Well Begun but only Half Done—33
Please Spare Our Children—36
The Fig Leaf of Marriage—39
The Power of Passion and Dreams—42
Trafficking: A Moral and Economic Fight—45
Why Education is the Last Frontier—49
Why I am Marching Again—52
Seven Reasons Why We must March Against Child Rape—55
Child Labour Fuelling Black Money —58
Child Rights’ Protection: The Triangular Paradigm —61
A Child-Friendly World within Our Reach—74
Child Labour — A Social Aberration—78
Child Labour in India — Challenges and Solutions—83
Time to Save Childhood—89
Gifts of God Strewn on Streets—92
Obstacles in the Attainment of Primary Education—96
Giving Childhood a Miss yet Again?—100
Peace or War! — Time to Think Seriously—104
Taking on the Circus—108
Who will Bring the Missing Children Back Home?—111
World Fit for Children—115
G-20 Leaders: Please Invest in Our Children—120
I am Marching on a Bharat Yatra to Make India Safe again for Children—123
The Children of Crisis—126
Laureates and Leaders Unite Because the Children cannot Wait Any Longer—130
Young People can Help Stop Slavery—134
Ending the Business of Child Labour—138
The Human Right that Keeps on Giving—142
Winning the War on Child Sexual Abuse—143
From Child Slavery to Freedom—144
Business Solutions to End Child Labour and Slavery—145
‘Biggest Challenge is to Break Silence on Child Sexual Abuse’—151
The World Needs to Become More Aware—154
Corporates should also Play an Important Role in Safeguarding the Interests of Children—160
Everybody has Globalised the Economy, Let’s Globalise Compassion—169
Every Child Matters—180
We don’t have Adequate Political Will—187
Child Trafficking Accounts for a Good Chunk of Black Money—194
‘We Need a National Tribunal for Children’—199
‘Bharat Yatra is Against a Moral Epidemic’—202
We have a Long Way to Go—205
‘All Children are Our Children’—209
End Silence around Child Labour—212
Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi is the first Indian-born resident of India to have been conferred with the honour.
After completing his graduation in electrical engineering, Mr. Satyarthi began teaching at a university. However, soon, the desire to work for children who are left-behind, compelled him to quit his job.
The issue of child rights and child labour was not yet a part of the public discourse when Mr. Satyarthi founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) in 1981. The organisation has rescued more than 85,000 children from conditions of exploitative labour and modern-day slavery, and successfully rehabilitated them into society.
As a global campaigner for child rights, Mr. Satyarthi founded the largest civil society network for the elimination of child labour—the Global March Against Child Labour, a worldwide coalition. He is the Founder of the Global Campaign for Education which works to universalise education. Mr. Satyarthi also initiated the first global social labelling called Rugmark which was successful in reducing child labour in the South Asian carpet industry by 80% within 15 years.
To fulfil his vision of a world free of violence against children, Mr. Satyarthi has established the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to help create and implement child-friendly policies through research, advocacy and campaigns to ensure the holistic development and empowerment of children.