Kailash ~ The Engineer

The engineer turned activist Kailash Satyarthi, born on January 11, 1954, lives in New Delhi. He has been active in the movement against child labour since the 1990s and freed over 80,000 children from various forms of servitude and helped in successful rehabilitation through his organization, Bachapan Bachao Andolan. Satyarthi is the first India-born person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and seventh Indian Nobel laureate. Mother Teresa, who was born in Albania, was the first Indian Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was honoured in 1979.

Kailash, who was born in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, has a degree in electrical engineering and a post graduation in high voltage engineering.

After teaching engineering in a college in Bhopal for a few years, Kailash decided to work for social change following his experiences as a student who saw the lot of less priovilegded from close quarters. Initially, he started a book bank for poor student who couldn’t afford textbooks which got huge support. Child labour makes up one quarter of the unskilled labor force in the organised and unorganised sector of South Asia. Several prestigious awards have been confirmed on him, including Defenders of Democracy Award(2009-US), Medal of Italian Senate (2007-Italy), Robert F Kennedy International Human Rights Award(USA) and Fredric International Human Rights Award (Germany), According to reports, of India’s 140 million working children, 55 million are in servitude and 10 million are bonded slave their employers. Kailash’s work is based on three major strategic thrusts- he organises raids to identify and free bonded children; tires rehabilitation them by providing vocational training and work with the media and other groups to build national and international consumer resistance.


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