Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi on Sunday congratulated the Indian media for raising issues of children from time to time.
Addressing a function at The Constitution Club here, he said: “The prize money that I have received is big. So big that I haven’t seen or touched that much money ever in my life. Neither will I touch it now. The whole amount will be spent on deprived children across the world, not even for Bachpan Bachao Andolan [his NGO] and its workers. My friends thought that after I get the amount, I would at least change my old mobile phone or buy an iPad. But I have no intentions of buying gadgets for myself or my workers. BBA workers won’t even get a drop of tea from this money.”
Comparing the present situation, Mr. Satyarthi recalled old times when he lived under utter financial constraints and his family suffered due to it. “There were times when I would go to rescue child workers in south Bihar, Mirzapur and Rajasthan and my wife would wait for days hazarding guesses about the news of my body or wounded self. Often she didn’t have milk to feed my infant son and she would borrow from our neighbour ‘mausi.’ But such circumstances only strengthened us and the prize money hasn’t made us greedy.”
Appealing to the people of India to raise their voice against child labour, sexual abuse, trafficking, slavery, denial of education and insecurity, he told them to “break their silence, and shed their neutrality.”
Asked about his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “I met the Prime Minister and the President, and with folded hands requested them to bring about a total ban on child labour below 14, and those working in hazardous industries below at 18. I requested them to see the polity through the eyes of a child.”