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Kailash Satyarthi
""Kailash satyarthi.jpg
Kailash in 2016
Born Kailash Sharma[1]
(1954-01-11) 11 January 1954 (age 64)[2]
"Vidisha, "Madhya Pradesh,
Nationality Indian
Education "Electrical engineering[1]
Alma mater "Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, "Vidisha[3][4]
Known for Activism for "children's rights and "children's education
Spouse(s) Sumedha Kailash
Children Asmita Satyarthi (daughter), Bhuwan Ribhu (son)

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)
"Nobel Peace Prize (2014)
Harvard Humanitarian Award (2015)[5]
Website KailashSatyarthi.net

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 86,000[6] children in India from child labour, slavery and trafficking. In 1998, Satyarthi led the Global March against Child Labour,[7] 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 International Cocoa Foundation.

Satyarthi was among "Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ in 2015[8] and featured in "LinkedIn’s Power Profiles List in 2017.[9] 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.

More recently, Satyarthi led a nationwide march, Bharat Yatra,[10] in India covering 12,000 kilometres (7,500 mi) in 35 days, to spread awareness about child sexual abuse and trafficking.


Early life[edit]

Kailash Satyarthi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway on 10 December 2014

Born Kailash Sharma, on 11 January 1954, in the "Vidisha district of central Indian state of "Madhya Pradesh, he changed his surname to Satyarthi (meaning ‘seeker of truth’). The name change followed an incident where he, inspired by "Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership in the Indian Independence Movement and his own town’s leaders speaking out against the "Indian caste system, decided to organize a dinner for the upper caste residents with food cooked by low-caste, so called ‘untouchable’ people. When the leaders of the town failed to show up to the dinner, Satyarthi went back to his house dejected, to find that elderly upper caste people were threatening to outcaste his family unless he “(went) to the river "Ganges to take a holy dip.”[11] Additionally, “(he) should organize a feast for 101 priests, wash their feet and drink that water”. Satyarthi refused to comply with their unreasonable demands. However, Satyarthi was still punished, he was barred from his home’s kitchen and dining room and his utensils were separated. Angry at the attempt to outcaste him, Satyarthi decided to “outcaste the entire caste system”[11] by rejecting his surname, as most "Indian surnames reflect the caste of a family, and changing it to Satyarthi.

Another notable incident in Satyarthi’s childhood occurred on his first day of school, wherein Satyarthi who was still a child noticed a boy his age sitting with his father, a cobbler, outside the premises of the school, mending shoes. After asking his teacher why the boy wasn’t in school like him and being denied the answer, Satyarthi questioned his headmaster who informed him that the cobbler was poor therefore he could not send his son to school and that it was perfectly normal for poor children to work in order to survive. Unsatisfied with the answer Satyarthi asked the cobbler himself why he didn’t send his son to school. He was told that there are certain children who are “born to work”.[12] 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”[13] due to the circumstances of their birth.

He attended Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Vidhisha, and completed his degree in electrical engineering[2] at "Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha[1][3][4] and a post-graduate degree in high-voltage engineering. He then joined a college in "Bhopal as a lecturer for a few years.[14]


In 1980, he gave up his career as an engineer and became secretary general for the "Bonded Labor Liberation Front; he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) that year.[15][16] He has also been involved with the "Global March Against Child Labor[17] and its international advocacy body, the International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE),[18] which are worldwide coalitions of NGOs, teachers and trades unionists.[19][20] 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.[21]

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.[22][23][24] 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.[25] 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,[26] and his claims have been supported by several studies.[27][28] He has also had a role in linking the movement against "child labour with efforts for achieving "Education for All".[29] 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).[30] 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.[31]

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".[32] Satyarthi is the fifth "Nobel Prize laureate for India and only the second Indian laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize after "Mother Teresa in 1979.

Kailash 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.[33]


Bharat Yatra[edit]

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 24 "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 5000 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 10,00,000 marchers over 35 days.[39]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in "New Delhi, India. His family includes his wife, a son, daughter-in-law, a grandson, daughter and a son-in-law.[40] He has been described as an excellent "cook.[41]

Awards and honors[edit]

Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films.[42] 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[43] Satyarthi has been awarded the following national and international honours:

Reception in India[edit]

The discussion of illegalization of child labor was raised after Satyarthi received the Nobel Prize. According to some, it will make child labour go "underground, which may cause reduced wages.[62]

Meet up for Childhood Freedom at Lincoln Memorial[edit]

On 16 June 2015, Satyarthi gave a clarion call to leaders and countries towards global elimination of child labour and "slavery. Satyarthi was joined by a large number of child rights groups and organisations at the Lincoln Memorial where he called for achieving freedom for the world's children from slavery, labour, abuse, "trafficking and "illiteracy.[63]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kidwai, Rasheed (10 October 2014). "A street rings with 'Nobel' cry". "The Telegraph. "Calcutta. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-13. Kailash Satyarthi was born Kailash Sharma in this Madhya Pradesh town but dropped the upper-caste surname […] Pravesh told The Telegraph. […] By 4pm, the Sharmas had had virtually the entire town of Vidisha visiting them. Almost every resident older than 50 has a story to tell about Kailash. Kailash had graduated in electrical engineering from the Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, and taught at a local polytechnic. 
  2. ^ a b "Kailash Satyarthi: A profile". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ a b 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. 
  5. ^ "'Brief Profile – Kailash Satyarthi'". 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Satyarthi to deliver talk in PU on Oct 12 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  7. ^ "How we started | Global March Against Child Labour". www.globalmarch.org. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  8. ^ Singh, Yoshita (2015-03-27). "Modi, Kailash Satyarthi among Fortune's list of world's greatest leaders". livemint.com/. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Modi, Priyanka Feature in LinkedIn Power Profiles List of 2017". News18. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  10. ^ "19,000 km in 35 days: Kailash Satyarthi's Bharat Yatra culminates at Rashtrapati Bhavan". The Statesman. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  11. ^ a b Regunathan, Sudhamahi (2015-04-30). "How he got his name". The Hindu. "ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  12. ^ Codrops. "Kailash Satyarthi... the seeker of truth". www.kailashsatyarthi.net. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi: "168M children are full-time child laborers…"". cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Angaben auf der Seite des Menschenrechtspreises der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung". Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung e.V. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  16. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". "New York Times. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "The New Heroes . Meet the New Heroes . Kailash Satyarthi – PBS". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "About". knowchildlabor.org. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Trust Women – Kailash Satyarthi". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. 
  20. ^ David Crouch (10 October 2014). "Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace prize". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Role of Civil Society in the Dakar World Education Forum". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "Who is India's Kailash Satyarthi, the other Nobel Peace Prize winner?". Rama Lakshmi. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "A Fitting Nobel for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". Amy Davidson. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "RugMark USA – Entrepreneurs in Depth – Enterprising Ideas". PBS-NOW. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "Principal Voices: Kailash Satyarthi". CNN. 28 June 2007. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Satyarthi, Kailash (26 Sep 2012). "Child labour perpetuates illiteracy, poverty and corruption". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Nanjunda, D C (2009). Anthropology and Child Labour. Mittal Publications. p. 91. "ISBN "9788183242783. 
  28. ^ Shukla, C K; Ali, S (2006). Child Labour and the Law. Sarup & Sons. p. 116. "ISBN "9788176256780. 
  29. ^ "Talk by human rights defender Kailash Satyarthi". oxotower.co.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Fund the Future: An action plan for funding the Global Partnership for Education" (pdf). April 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  31. ^ "Why India's Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize: All you need to know". Firstpost. 
  32. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi – Facts". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Satyarthi backs 'Save the Girl Child' initiative". 
  34. ^ "History | Bachpan Bachao Andolan". www.bba.org.in. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  35. ^ "About Us | Bachpan Bachao Andolan". bba.org.in. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  36. ^ "The Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation". satyarthi.org.in. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  37. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi". Wikipedia. 2017-11-06. 
  38. ^ User, Super. "About us". www.campaignforeducation.org. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  39. ^ "Bharat Yatra". bharatyatra.online. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  40. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi – Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  41. ^ Azera Parveen Rahman (10 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi loves to cook for rescued child labourers". news.biharprabha.com. IANS. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  42. ^ "Bachpan Bachao Andolan produced film nominated for New York Film Festival". globalmarch.org. 
  43. ^ Anjali Bisaria. "11 Human Rights Activists Whose Life Mission Is To Provide Others With A Dignified Life/". Indiatimes.com. 
  44. ^ "कुरियन,केजरीवाल,राव को प्रयुक्ति पुरस्कार". VARTA. UNI VARTA. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  45. ^ IANS (23 April 2017). "Satyarthi given P.C. Chandra award" – via Business Standard. 
  46. ^ "Nobel-winner Kailash Satyarthi is now Harvard's 'Humanitarian of the Year' - Times of India". 
  47. ^ "Satyarthi's '3D' model: Dream, discover, do". Times of India. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  48. ^ P.J. George. "Malala, Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize". The Hindu. 
  49. ^ "Social Activist Kailash Satyarthi to get 2009 Defender of Democracy Award in U.S". 20 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  50. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi". globalmarch.org. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  51. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi". Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. 
  52. ^ "Heroes Acting To End Modern-Day Slavery". U.S. Department of State. 
  53. ^ "Kailash Satyarthi – Architect of Peace". Architects of Peace. 
  54. ^ "Medal Recipients – Wallenberg Legacy, University of Michigan". University of Michigan. 
  55. ^ "Human Rights Award of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung". fes.de. 
  56. ^ "Our Board". 
  57. ^ "Robert F Kennedy Center Laureates". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. 
  58. ^ Ben Klein. "Trumpeter Awards winners". National Consumers League. 
  59. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize 2014: Pakistani Malala Yousafzay, Indian Kailash Satyarthi Honored For Fighting For Access To Education". Omaha Sun Times. 
  60. ^ "Aachener Friedenspreis 1994: Kailash Satyarthi (Indien), SACCS (Südasien) und Emmaus-Gemeinschaft (Köln)". Aachener Friedenspreis. 
  61. ^ "Fellows: Kailash Satyarthi". Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. 1993. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  62. ^ 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 
  63. ^ "Nobel Winner Kailash Satyarthi Calls for Global Elimination of Child Labour". NDTV. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
"Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Laureate of the "Nobel Peace Prize
With: "Malala Yousafzai
Succeeded by
"Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
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