Making Happy Childhood a Reality: Kailash Satyarthi

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“Children are the future of the country”, but how well is this future planning actually going? Child education programmes like compulsory primary education and several other sister schemes have been introduced to make the future of India bright. In Government schools, awareness through advertisements and awareness programmes are launched quite frequently to increase the enrolment of children in schools throughout the country. 

Besides education, the government is trying to bring health and hygiene awareness among the children by launching several campaigns so as to make the future of the country healthy, both at regional and central level. Indeed, to make the superstructure strong, the base has to be strong. But is the foundation of child growth strong enough in our country? Undoubtedly, the Government seems quite concerned about education and health but when it comes to growth, education and health are not the only two aspects that need to be worked upon. It also depends on the type of environment the children are getting when they move out of their homes. Are they safe? Do they really have some chances to be a part of the so-called bright future of the country?

Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist and an education advocate, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 (sharing it with Malala Yousafzai). He is that one person who has talked about something at a global level which we, as common people, simply think about once in a blue moon. Yes, he has been traveling since years to bring the children into a safe environment and bring them their rights. Qualified as an Electrical Engineer, he renounced his career and started his work towards for children. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries. His work is not at all country-centric, rather he links globalization and calls the issues related to children a global problem.

Now, the issues he focuses on are not limited to child education. His vision is way beyond that, for he is on his “Bharat Yatra” to denounce the evils acting against the innocent children. These evils include child abuse (sexual), trafficking and child labor. How harsh it is even to hear of a four or five-year child being raped or sold or made to sit on a street to sell some goods. Harsher are those who actually don’t think before snatching the childhood of a child.

Are we going to bring in Khaled Hosseini’s statement true here – 

“There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”

 Is this what we call a bright future planning? According to the Nobel Prize Laureate, India can only develop with its children developing and without their safety, development is impossible. The Bharat Yatra is a clarion call to Make India Safe for Children.The sexual abuse and exploitation of children has grown to alarming proportions and must be prevented at any cost before more children lose their childhood to these repulsive and intolerable crimes. The trafficking of children involves buying and selling them illegally for the purpose of their exploitation, and unless this crime is controlled, children will continue to lead extremely compromised and unsafe childhoods. The Bharat Yatra is an effort to mobilize urgent action on such crimes against children. 

Starting from the southernmost tip of peninsular India, Kanyakumari, on September 11, 2017. Through seven routes touching cities, towns and villages in 22 Indian states and Union Territories, this journey engages with policymakers, implementers, teachers, local leaders, women groups, law enforcement personnel, the media, business leaders and most importantly with children and their parents. The Yatra takes in both traditional and time-tested technique by mobilizing people and also launching awareness programmes.

So sad is the part that a country like India which is trying to create its position as a developed country is stuck in the problems of dark childhoods and good is the part that still there are some selfless souls who actually act upon the issues that are not even thought about by the “powerful”

“If we really aspire to see India in bright lights, we should bring light into the life of at least one child who is pushed into darkness”, quoted Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. With his highly convincing speeches, he is successfully touching hearts across the country and is convincing citizens to take a pledge to join this struggle to make India safe for children and let them live the colors of a happy childhood.


About the Author:

Sehaj Sodhi (ISSER, PU Campus)

Bio: The City Beautiful enchanted me from the tranquil hills. Any current in society enlightens my ink on paper. I learn Social Sciences at Panjab University with a hope that I’ll be a prodigy of a kind. Writing to me is a blessing in disguise and if you like it, you can visit https://fathomdeeps.wordpress.com

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