Just a day before, most Indians and the media had no clue about child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. Today everyone is talking about him or reading about him after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 2014.
Announced yesterday by the Norwegian Noble committee, Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai will share the prestigious Nobel peace prize for 2014. The two have been named joint winners of the 1.1 million dollar prize for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 10, 2014
The irony is we are aware of the 17-year-old, youngest ever Nobel laureate, Malala’s struggle but have no clue who Kailash is and what has been his struggle. The tireless campaigner for child rights, Kailash Satyarthi belongs to Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. The son of a police officer who studied electrical engineering turned into an activist at the early age of 26 and in 1980 he founded “Bachpan Bachao Andolan” (Save the Childhood Movement) to fight child labour. Talking to The Guardian, Kailash said his commitment to the cause goes back to when he was six and noticed a boy his age on the steps outside the school with his father, cleaning shoes. “I think of it all as a test. This is a moral examination that one has to pass … to stand up against such social evils,” he said in 2010.
His first campaign involved a football club using membership fees to pay the school fees of needy children, while another project became a book bank in his home town. His efforts along with other NGOs and activists is believed to have rescued some 80,000 children forced to work in factories and mines in the most appalling conditions.
There isn’t a doubt that this is a great moment of pride for both the countries who have witnessed some tense situations on the border for last few days. But it also goes out to show how we have neglected real heroes like Kailash and many more. It took a Nobel Peace prize committee siting outside this country to find the hidden gem in India.
The news has caught like wildfire on social media with everyone coming forward to congratulate Malala and Kailash. Additionally, Twitter is also witnessing some interesting tweets on how Indians were caught unaware about their real hero. Definitely it’s time for all of us and not just the government alone to think how we can appreciate the work of such grass root level activists.
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) October 10, 2014
I am so glad #KailashSatyarthi is not an Indian-born foreign national. Otherwise, we would have found reason to celebrate his Indian origin!
— Devinder Sharma (@Devinder_Sharma) October 10, 2014
— Ishaan (@PonderJunction) October 11, 2014
Sudden discovery of #KailashSatyarthi by the Indian media & their effusive extensive coverage of him is proof that everyone loves a winner
— Ashok Lalla (@ashoklalla) October 11, 2014
now watch all local politicians suddenly remember deep interest in child trafficking and long-held desire to meet #KailashSatyarthi
— Jason Burke (@burke_jason) October 10, 2014
We didn’t know who #KailashSatyarthi is. The joke is on us.
— Jay Hind! (@JayHind) October 10, 2014
How ironical! Ind Nobel laureate #KailashSatyarthi hs won awards from govts around the world 4 his works, but none in his own country India.
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) October 10, 2014
While we are busy following Kailash on Twitter and showing our support to his cause, he has dedicated the award to the most marginalized child trapped in slavery somewhere in the world!
This award is dedicated to the most marginalized child trapped in slavery somewhere in the world. Won’t rest till child labour is eliminated
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) October 10, 2014