Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Person Is One Of Our Country's Unsung Heroes!

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I have never heard of Kailash Satyarthi until his name was declared for this year's (2014) Nobel Peace Prize.  This media person also says so!  Instead of our government or media recognizing him, a Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized him and awarded him, the Nobel peace prize alongwith Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai. 'Satyarthi, 60, and Yousafzai, 17,  were picked for their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.'



Now, I see his face in all the news papers and news channels, day in and day out!  His name was considered for this award for the past 5 years, it seems.  Still, nobody, even Barkha, Arnab or Rajdeep, our famous news gatherers mentioned anything about him.  Satyarthi (his 'bachpan bachaao aandholan') had saved around 80,000 children from Child labours in mines, quarries and other hard places at great risk to himself.  Every teashop, match making or small provision stores engage children.  Many of them are Bihari children...sometimes parents send them out for work out of poverty or the children leave home and start working at a young  age.  Satyarthi said in an interview yesterday that parents should give respect to their children and heed what they say.  The children should be happy in their homes/with their parents.  Then they won't run away and land with greedy people. 

Satyarthi was born in 1954 at Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh.  He did his graduation (Electrical Engineer) in Vidisha and then did did his Post graduation at Bhopal.  He said in an interview that he did this to please his parents.  He became a Lecturer and worked for a few years in a college in Bhopal.  Wiki says:

n 1980, he gave up his career as a teacher and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Liberation Front; he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Mission) that year. He has also been involved with the Global March Against Child Labor.

Another link says this about him.

NEW DELHI — Many years have passed, but a police chief named Amitabh Thakur can remember the precise moment when he first set eyes on Kailash Satyarthi, who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Mr. Satyarthi was lying on the ground, bleeding profusely from the head, while a group of men converged on him with bats and iron rods. They worked for the Great Roman Circus, which was illegally employing teenagers trafficked from Nepal as dancing girls. Mr. Satyarthi, a Gandhian activist in a simple white cotton tunic, had come to free them.  As he approached the scene, the chief realized he was interrupting a savage beating.

 Born about six and a half years after India won independence, Mr. Satyarthi, 60, was so deeply impressed with Gandhi’s teachings that, as a teenager, he invited a group of high-caste local bigwigs to a meal prepared by low-caste “untouchables”; the invited guests boycotted the event and then shunned his family. Deeply upset, the boy dropped his Brahmin family name in favor of Satyarthi, which means “seeker of truth,” according to an account on his website.

This link says how his family of a daughter and a son with his wife supported him throughout his work all these years.

This is a story of a child labourer in a quarry, who was educated by Satyarthi.  We can come across many stories like this in the following days!

Another link says this about him:

Among those who celebrated on Friday was Mohammad Manan Ansari, who began working at a mica mine at 6, digging ore that would sell for 5 to 20 cents a pound. Mr. Ansari, now a college student in his late teens, recalled watching as a small friend was crushed by falling rocks in one of the mine’s tunnels. He said he would be grateful to Mr. Satyarthi for the rest of his life.

“My happiest moment was when Bachpan Bachao Andolan workers came and saved me,” he said. “Now Kailash’s Nobel is the second happiest moment of my life. I can’t explain my joy in my own words.”

Satyarthi is the seventh Nobel peace prize and only the second Indian winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa in 1979.  

The NDTV interview with Satyarthi is here.  The interviewer is not very good, though. 

Let us all celebrate him! We need more people like him here, in India, people who have guts to serve others instead of their own families like us.



Photo courtesy: google

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