Kailash in 2015
11 January 1954
|Known for||Activism for children's rights and children's education|
|Spouse(s)||Mrs. Sumedha Kailash|
|Children||Ms. Asmita Satyarthi (daughter), Mr. Bhuwan Ribhu (son)|
|Awards||Nobel Peace Prize (2014)|
The Aachener International Peace Prize, Germany (1994)
The Trumpeter Award (1995)
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995)
De Golden Wimpel Award (1998)
La Hospitalet Award (1999)
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (1999)
Heroes acting to End Modern Day Slavery by US State Department (2007)
Alfonso Comin International Award (2008)
Medal of the Italian Senate (2007)
Defenders of Democracy Award (2009)
Harvard Humanitarian Award (2015)
Kailash Satyarthi (born Kailash Sharma; 11 January 1954) is an Indian children's rights activist. He is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (lit. Save Childhood Movement), the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, Global March Against Child Labour, and GoodWeave International.
To date, Kailash Satyarthi and his team at Bachpan Bachao Andolan have liberated more than 87,000 children in India from child labour, slavery and trafficking. In 1998, Satyarthi conceived and led the Global March against Child Labour, an 80,000 km-long march across 103 countries to put forth a global demand against child labour. The movement became one of the largest social movements ever on behalf of exploited children. The demands of the marchers, which included children and youth, were reflected in the draft of the ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. The following year, the Convention was unanimously adopted at the ILO Conference in Geneva.
Kailash Satyarthi has been a member of a UNESCO body established with the goal of providing “Education for All” and has been on the board of the Fast Track Initiative (now known as the Global Partnership for Education). Satyarthi serves on the board and committee of several international organisations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the Cocoa Foundation.
Satyarthi was among Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ in 2015 and featured in LinkedIn’s Power Profiles List in 2017 & 2018. His work has been recognized through various national and international honours and awards including the Nobel Peace Prize of 2014, which he shared with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.
Kailash Satyarthi was born as Kailash Sharma, on 11 January 1954, in Vidisha, a small town in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in a middle class family. Satyarthi was the second child and had an elder brother. His father was a police constable (he retired subsequently as a Head Constable) and his mother was an uneducated, yet highly idealistic housewife. As per Satyarthi, this exceptionally idealistic and helpful nature of his mother had a big impact on him. He grew in a locality (mohalla) which had Hindus and Muslims living amicably with each other, with a Hindu temple on one side and a Masjid on the other. As a four year old toddler, he first learnt to read Urdu from the maulvi at the neighburing mosque and subsequently learnt Hindi and English in school.
Satyarthi recounts having questioned the discrimination he noticed in society from an early age. On his first day at school, he noticed a cobbler's son outside the school watching Satyarthi and his friends entering the school. On entering the classroom, Satyarthi's first question to his teacher was why the cobbler's son was not coming to school with them. The teacher answered that this was normal, and poorer people's children usually work and do not go to school. Satyarthi was not satisfied with this reply and asked the principal, family members and other elders, all through receiving the same "this is normal" response. Dissatisfied with their answers, Satyarthi mustered courage and asked the cobbler ten days later why he did not admit his child in school. The cobbler answered resignedly that he and his children were born to work and not to go to schools. This made a big impact on Satyarthi, as he noticed the deep injustice and discrimination inbuilt in society.
Satyarthi further recounts that he noticed that his and his friend's school books usually went waste after they passed their exams. One April, on the day results were announced, he and a friend used the money they had been given to buy sweets, to instead rent a four wheeled handcart. The two of them went to nearby localities, asking children and students to donate their books, to be used by poorer children whose parents could not afford them. This led to him setting up a small library and was his first social activity.
Satyarthi describes this as the first time he questioned why some children are born to work “at the cost of their childhood and freedom and education and dreams” due to the circumstances of their birth.
He attended Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Vidhisha, and completed his degree in electrical engineering at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute in Vidisha (then affiliated to Barkatullah University, now to Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya) and a post-graduate degree in high-voltage engineering. He then joined a college in Bhopal as a lecturer for a few years.
In 1980, Sathyarthi gave up his career as an electrical engineer and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Liberation Front; he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) that year. He conceived and led the Global March Against Child Labor and its international advocacy body, the International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE), which are worldwide coalitions of NGOs, teachers and trades unionists. He has also served as the President of the Global Campaign for Education, from its inception in 1999 to 2011, having been one of its four founders alongside ActionAid, Oxfam and Education International.
In 1998 Satyarthi conceived and led the Global March against Child  Labour traversing across 103 countries covering 80,000 km with a demand for an International Law on Worst Forms of Child Labour. This eventually led to the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182 on worst forms of child labour.
In addition, he established GoodWeave International (formerly known as Rugmark) as the first voluntary labelling, monitoring and certification system of rugs manufactured without the use of child-labour in South Asia. This latter organisation operated a campaign in Europe and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the intent of raising consumer awareness of the issues relating to the accountability of global corporations with regard to socially responsible consumerism and trade. Satyarthi has highlighted child labor as a human rights issue as well as a welfare matter and charitable cause. He has argued that it perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems, and his claims have been supported by several studies. He has also had a role in linking the movement against child labour with efforts for achieving "Education for All". He has been a member of a UNESCO body established to examine this and has been on the board of the Fast Track Initiative (now known as the Global Partnership for Education). Satyarthi serves on the board and committee of several international organisations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the International Cocoa Foundation. He is now reportedly working on bringing child labour and slavery into the post-2015 development agenda for the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.
Satyarthi, along with Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education". Satyarthi is the fifth Nobel Prize laureate for India and the second Indian laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa in 1979.
Satyarthi supported "Save the Girl Child" initiative by Sunita Dube, Chairperson of MedScape India and discussed the possible actions with Yogesh Dube, Child Rights Commission member for betterment of women and children, specifically their health and well being.
- Bachpan Bachao Andolan was founded by Satyarthi in 1980 as a mass movement to create a child friendly society where all children are free from exclusion and exploitation and receive free education. The movement has engaged itself in identifying, liberating, rehabilitating and educating children in servitude through direct intervention, community participation, partnerships and coalitions, promoting ethics in trade, unionizing workers, running campaigns on issues such as education, trafficking, forced labour, ethical trade, and by building child friendly villages.
- Satyarthi established GoodWeave International (formerly known as Rugmark) a network of non-profit organizations dedicated to ending illegal child labour in the rug making industry which provided the first voluntary labelling, monitoring and certification system of rugs manufactured without the use of child labour in South Asia. This latter organisation operated a campaign in Europe and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the intent of raising consumer awareness of the issues relating to the accountability of global corporations with regard to socially responsible consumerism and trade. Rugmark International re-branded the certification program and introduced the GoodWeave label in 2009. The organization was also re-branded to GoodWeave International. Today the international network comprises producing country offices in India, Nepal and Afghanistan; and consumer country programs in the US, UK, and Germany.
- The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, established in 2004 by Satyarthi to achieve a child friendly world, operates with an integrated approach towards the problems of the children. Spreading awareness, policy advocacy and capacity building are the foundation blocks of the KSCF approach. A diverse team of experts with keen interest in issues of child rights, internal expertise and strong stakeholder collaboration are the strengths and drivers of the organisation. The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) is the global umbrella for KSCF India and KSCF, US. A crucial ingredient of the KSCF philosophy is the participation of people, in bringing about the change they deserve. The involvement of people is achieved through our Campaigns and Programmes, where people are made aware about the issues faced by the society and are endowed with solutions that work efficiently. The KSCF Institute looks after the Policy Building and Strengthening process, with its team of experts adept at designing solutions to the problems of people.
- Satyarthi formed the Global Campaign for Education, and was made the organisation’s president on its inception in 1999. Global Campaign for Education is an international coalition of non-governmental organizations, working to promote children's and adult education through research and advocacy. It was formed in 1999 as a partnership between NGOs that were separately active in the area, including ActionAid, Oxfam, Education International, Global March Against Child Labour and national organizations in Bangladesh, Brazil and South Africa.
The Bharat Yatra, was launched by KSCF to spread awareness about child trafficking and sexual abuse. Launched in Kanyakumari on September 11, 2017 by Kailash Satyarthi, this campaign marched through seven routes covering 22 Indian states and Union Territories, and over 12,000 km. The campaign was aimed at starting a social dialogue about child sexual abuse and child trafficking, hitherto taboo issues in India, in order to protect children vulnerable within their homes, communities, schools.The campaign collaborated with 5,000 civil society organisations, more than 60 Indian faith leaders, 500 Indian political leaders, 600 local, state and national bodies of the Indian government, 300 members of the Indian judiciary, and 25,000 educational institutions across India.
Bharat Yatra saw the participation of more than 1,200,000 marchers over 35 days.
Awards and honours
Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films. In September 2017 India Times listed Satyarthi as one of the 11 Human Rights Activists Whose Life Mission Is To Provide Others With A Dignified Life Satyarthi has been awarded the following national and international honours:
- 2018: Santokhba Humanitarian Award 2018
- 2018: Honoris Causa in Science, Amity University (India)
- 2018: Personality of the Decade by Dainik Prayukti
- 2017: Doctor Honoris Causa, EL Rector Magnífico de la Universidad Pablo de Olavide
- 2017: Guinness World Record for Largest Child Safe Guarding Lesson
- 2017: P.C Chandra Puraskaar
- 2016 Doctor of Law (LLD), West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences (India)
- 2016 Doctor of Humane Letters, Lynchburg College (USA)
- 2016 Member-Fellow, Australian Institute of Management
- 2015: Harvard's University Award "Humanitarian of the Year"
- 2015: Honorary Doctorate by Amity University, Gurgaon
- 2014: Nobel Peace Prize
- 2009: Defenders of Democracy Award (US)
- 2008: Alfonso Comin International Award (Spain)
- 2007: Gold medal of the Italian Senate (2007)
- 2007: recognized in the list of "Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavery" by the US State Department
- 2006: Freedom Award (US)
- 2002: Wallenberg Medal, awarded by the University of Michigan
- 1999: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (Germany)
- 1998: Golden Flag Award (Netherlands)
- 1995: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (US)
- 1995: The Trumpeter Award (US)
- 1994: The Aachener International Peace Award (Germany)
- 1993: Elected Ashoka Fellow (US)
Reception in India
The India legal system had only recently made it illegal to employ any child below the age of 14. The law was questioned by Livemint, a financial newspaper from India, said such a law would make child labour go underground, and cause reduced wages.
- (2018) बदलाव के बोल, by Kailash Satyarthi; Prabhat Prakashan. ISBN 9789352664863.
- (2017) Will for Children, by Kailash Satyarthi; Prabhat Prakashan. ISBN 9789386300355.
- (2016) आज़ाद बचपन की ओर, by Kailash Satyarthi; Prabhat Prakashan. ISBN 9789351867265.
- Satyarthi, Kailash; Zutshi, Bupinder (2006). Globalisation, Development And Child Rights. New Delhi: Shipra Publications. ISBN 9788175412705.
- Kidwai, Rasheed (10 October 2014). "A street rings with 'Nobel' cry". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Calcutta. Archived from the original on 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14.
arr Quila area of the town. […] locals were seen drawing affiliation to institutions linked to Satyarhti including his schools – Toppura Primary School, Pedi school and Government Boys Higher Secondary School and Samrat Ashok Technological Institute (SATI) from where Satyarthi graduated in Electrical Engineering and later taught there for two years before embarking his journey to serve humanity.
- Kapoor, Sapan (11 October 2014). "Gandhiji would have been proud of you, Kailash Satyarthi". The Express Tribune Blogs. Karachi. Retrieved 2014-10-14.
Mr Kailash Satyarthi has come a long way since his engineering days at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, literally. My father, who was one year senior to this electrical engineering student, vividly remembers him […] who would come to the college in his staple kurta-payjama with a muffler tied around his neck.
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- "Kailash Satyarthi: A profile". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Trivedi, Vivek (11 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi's hometown Vidisha celebrates Nobel win". News18.com. Noida, Uttar Pradesh: Network18. Retrieved 2014-10-14.
He was born and brought up in Chhoti Haweli in Andar Quila area of the town. […] locals were seen drawing affiliation to institutions linked to Satyarhti including his schools – Toppura Primary School, Pedi school and Government Boys Higher Secondary School and Samrat Ashok Technological Institute (SATI) from where Satyarthi graduated in Electrical Engineering and later taught there for two years before embarking his journey to serve humanity.
- Chonghaile, Clar (10 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi: student engineer who saved 80,000 children from slavery". theguardian.com. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Angaben auf der Seite des Menschenrechtspreises der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung". Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung e.V. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- "Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". New York Times. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "The New Heroes . Meet the New Heroes . Kailash Satyarthi – PBS". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "About". knowchildlabor.org. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012.
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- David Crouch (10 October 2014). "Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace prize". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "The Role of Civil Society in the Dakar World Education Forum". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Who is India's Kailash Satyarthi, the other Nobel Peace Prize winner?". Rama Lakshmi. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "A Fitting Nobel for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". Amy Davidson. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "RugMark USA – Entrepreneurs in Depth – Enterprising Ideas". PBS-NOW. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Principal Voices: Kailash Satyarthi". CNN. 28 June 2007. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Satyarthi, Kailash (26 Sep 2012). "Child labour perpetuates illiteracy, poverty and corruption". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Nanjunda, D C (2009). Anthropology and Child Labour. Mittal Publications. p. 91. ISBN 9788183242783.
- Shukla, C K; Ali, S (2006). Child Labour and the Law. Sarup & Sons. p. 116. ISBN 9788176256780.
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- Anjali Bisaria. "11 Human Rights Activists Whose Life Mission Is to Provide Others with A Dignified Life". Indiatimes.com.
- "कुरियन,केजरीवाल,राव को प्रयुक्ति पुरस्कार". VARTA. UNI VARTA. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
- IANS (23 April 2017). "Satyarthi given P.C. Chandra award" – via Business Standard.
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- "Satyarthi's '3D' model: Dream, discover, do". Times of India. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
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- "Our Board".
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- Ben Klein. "Trumpeter Awards winners". National Consumers League.
- "Nobel Peace Prize 2014: Pakistani Malala Yousafzay, Indian Kailash Satyarthi Honored For Fighting For Access To Education". Omaha Sun Times. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Aachener Friedenspreis 1994: Kailash Satyarthi (Indien), SACCS (Südasien) und Emmaus-Gemeinschaft (Köln)". Aachener Friedenspreis. Archived from the original on 2014-10-10.
- "Fellows: Kailash Satyarthi". Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. 1993. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Child labour comes to the fore at Sivakasi". Times of India. Madurai City edition. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Prashanth Perumal (24 November 2014). "Save the children, Legalize child labour". Live Mint. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
Acting on emotional appeals from activists will do more harm than good for children in poverty
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kailash Satyarthi.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Kailash Satyarthi|
- Official website
- Kailash Satyarthi at TED
- "How to make peace? Get angry" (TED2015)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Awards and achievements|
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
| Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize
With: Malala Yousafzai
Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet