Kailash Satyarthi Biography
Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian child rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who formed the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). This biography of Kailash Satyarthi provides information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.
Kailash Satyarthi is a renowned Indian child rights activist and the winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He is the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an organization dedicated towards the eradication of child labour and rehabilitation of the rescued former child workers. Child labour is a rampant problem in India where millions of young children are engaged in various forms of work instead of attending schools. Satyarthi has been working as a childrenâs rights activist from the past many years and has liberated over 80,000 child labourers since 1980. Even as a child he was moved by the plight of other children who were made to work by their parents, and wanted to do something for them. He studied to become an electrical engineer but this profession gave him no satisfaction. While in his mid twenties, he ditched a lucrative engineering career to work for the welfare of child labourers, many of whom were forced to work by their parents while others were held as bonded labourers by business houses. He formed the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA)âliterally meaning, âSave Childhood Movementââin order to cerate awareness about this widespread evil and to rescue children from the clutches of bonded labour. He has been honored with several awards for his relentless humanitarian work, including the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 which he shares with the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzay.
Childhood & Early Life
- Kailash Satyarthi was born on 11 January 1954, in Vidisha, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, a state in India. Even as a child he was a very compassionate individual. He noticed that some children did not go to school like he did and instead worked under harsh conditions to earn money.Disturbed by the inequalities he witnessed, he decided to do something about it. He asked his classmates to donate textbooks and money to the underprivileged so that the poor kids too got a chance to study.He studied electrical engineering in a Bhopal college and went on to earn a post-graduate diploma in high-voltage engineering.
- After his graduation he began working as an engineer. A lucrative career lay ahead of him but the young manâs heart was not in an engineering job. He wanted to help people, especially the poor children who worked as bonded labourers and thus he quit his job.He started a journal called âThe Struggle Shall Continueâ in 1980 in order to create awareness about the problem of child labour. When he learned of a factory in which children were forcibly kept and made to work, he decided it was time to take action.He joined hands with a group of like-minded people and conducted raids on factories from where he rescued several children and their parents who were held as bonded labourers. This was a dangerous idea and he often got beaten up.Appalled by the wide-spread nature of the problem he formed the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a movement dedicated towards eradication of human trafficking and bonded child labour.Bachpan Bachao Andolan was the first organization of its kind in India which worked to enlighten the society about the rampant evil of child labour and highlighted the importance of rescuing these children and providing them the chance to live a normal and healthy life.The success of the BBA led to the creation of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) in 1989. SACCS has till date liberated several thousands of child labourers working in different industries.Kailash Satyarthi realized that the work did not end with the rescue; these children needed to be rehabilitated so that they could live a normal life. Thus the Bal Ashram was formed in Rajasthan where the newly-rescued children are taught basic skills.In 1998, he led the Global march against child labour. The march was a grassroot movement to motivate individuals and organizations to do their bit in the fight against child labour. Several international organizations supported this march.He has served as a member of the UNESCOâs Education for All and has addressed the U.N.âs General Assembly, International Labour Conference, and U.N. Human Rights Commission.
- He formed the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), the first organization in India which highlights the issue of child labour and works towards rescuing the children who are forcibly made to work in different industries. His works have so far led to the rescue of several thousands of child labourers who are provided opportunities for rehabilitation.
Awards & Achievements
- He received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1995 in recognition of the significant contributions he had made to human rights in India.Satyarthi along with Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousufzai won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".
Personal Life & Legacy
- Satyarthi is married and is the father of two grown children, a daughter and a son. His extended family also includes many of the former child labourers that his organizations have rescued.His works have been covered by several television and radio documentaries and he has been featured in many prominent magazines like âReaderâs Digestâ, The Timeâ, âWashington Postâ, and âNew York Timesâ.On January 8, 2015, Kailash Satyarthi dedicated his Nobel Peace Prize medal to the nation (India). The medal, in 18 carats gold and weighing 196 grams, is kept at Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House) museum.
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- Kailash Satyarthi Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- October 19, 2017
Also Known As: Kailash Sharma
Famous as: Child Rights Activist
Birth Date:January 11, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Height: 1.64 m
Born in: Vidisha, India
father: Ramprasad Sharma
education: Electical Engineering
awards: 2014: Nobel Peace Prize (shared with Malala Yousafzai)
2009: Defenders of Democracy Award (US)
2008: Alfonso Comin International Award (Spain)
2007: Medal of the Italian Senate
2006: Freedom Award (US)
2002: Wallenberg Medal (Awarded by the University of Michigan)
1999: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (Germany)
1995: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award
1985: The Trumpeter Award (US)
1984: The Aachener International Peace Award (Germany)
Pictures of Kailash Satyarthi
When Kailash Satyarthi was 26 years old, he left his career as an electrical engineer to pursue a more pressing challenge -- the fight against exploitative child labor.
Satyarthi joined HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd on Tuesday to discuss how one man's plea pushed him to take up the cause. The Nobel Peace Prize winner recounted being approached by a downtrodden man who had heard about Satyarthi's journal on neglected children almost two decades ago.
"One evening a desperate slave father came to me, and I was surprised to [learn] that he had been trafficked many years ago, 17 years ago, along with his wife and family. All of them were confined to work as slave laborers at a brick factory," Satyarthi said. "They had a daughter who was born and grew up in slavery. She was 15 years old and just about to be sold to a brothel."
After hearing the man's disheartening story, Satyarthi wanted to see the conditions for himself and went to the factory with a friend. "We were badly manhandled, beaten up, our cameras were smashed, and this man, he was caught again by those brick kiln people," Satyarthi said.
Satyarthi was still determined to free the man and his family. By calling on the high court and his friends, who were lawyers, Satyarthi helped rescue more than 30 people from that brick factory -- some of whom had lived there their whole lives.
"I realized freedom that day," he said.
Since Satyarthi's eyes were opened to the pervasiveness of child labor, he hasn't looked back. Despite attacks on his life, Satyarthi is a chairperson for the Global March Against Child Labor, a group of 2,000 social-purpose organizations and trade unions across 140 countries, and he leads many other charitable organizations in the journey to end child slavery. He received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize along with Malala Yousafszai for their work against the suppression of children worldwide.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi here.
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