Published: 15th September 2017
No ordinary march, this is war: Kailash Sathyarthi on his movement against child abuse
Kailash Sathyarthi believes that youth play a supreme role in meeting this goal,and envisions them as India's main hope in this dark, dark war
Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Thursday evening appealed to the Indian youth to participate in his movement to make India safe for children. Addressing students at the VIT university campus as part of his 'Bharath March' from Kanniyakumari to Delhi with a focus to free children from fear and various forms of abuse, he said, "I am here to awaken the urge in you to do your bit to protect the children of this great country."
This is reportedly the first-of-its-kind march in the world undertaken by a nobel laureate. "It is not an ordinary march but a war against rape, child abuse. Through this march, I want the youngsters to question social taboos," he said amid an applauding audience.
It is not my war, your war, our war. The President, Prime minister and Chief Ministers of many States have extended support to this war. I feel strengthened and energised. I count on you, your power and your enthusiasm is vital. You still have some moral fire purity burning inside, which can be used to cleanse the social garbage' he said adding, 'your voice is strongest, loudest. Speak out to protect young children
Kailash Sathyarthi, Activist and Nobel Laureate
He called children national resources and said it was every citizen's responsibility to make sure that children live with dignity and are kept safe from predators.
"While I am happy to be amongst you, to motivate you to look around you, I am angry about the news reports about children being subjected to abuse, rape, murder etc. You are all going to be professionals. Think of your sisters and mothers who are not safe at home," he added. Describing this country as a land of saints, saviours and seers, he said, "How can we allow this sacred land to be infested with rapists and monsters."
Young kids live with fears and are not taught to disclose abuse because 'it is a family honour issue'. 'This march is to break their silence and the darkness surrounding them, he added.
I believe: The Nobel Laureate has dedicated his life to fighting against child labour and for child rights. He strongly believes that only the youth can bring about the change needed to make a better India
"When the Nobel was announced, this country did not know me. I became a celebrity overnight. But until and unless children are free from abuse, I will not sit idle," he reiterated.
Quoting reports, he said that two children are raped and four go missing in India every minute, of which 90 per cent of the cases never see daylight
"Imagine the plight of victims who had to face agony, mental trauma because of these social evils. When traumatised girls cannot go to the police because of social taboo and family dignity, it is time we break this silence and hence the Bharat Yatra," he reasoned.
He also urged the students to make use of social media to spread the message and led them in a march within the premises. Students and faculty of VIT university also took a pledge to protect children.
(This story was published in the newindianexpress)