Children’s rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Saturday that he was pained to learn about the theft of his Nobel citation while he was in Latin America to meet the President of Panama.
“I felt that the Nobel replica and citation are lying safe with the people of my country at my home, but this unfortunate incident happened. My wife and I came back today from our Latin America trip and we were pained to see the house lying scattered. When I had left, everything was in order and I had never expected this,” he told reporters.
A replica of the Nobel Peace Prize, its citation, medals, some jewellery and shawls awarded to Satyarthi as felicitations, were among the valuables stolen from his southeast Delhi residence in his absence on February 7.
He said that it pinched when he found out that the thieves even took the ornaments given to his wife by his mother. “My mother had collected her savings and silver jewellery to gift a gold jewellery set to my wife on our wedding. Since I am the youngest in the family, she loved me and my wife. She is no more with us but we had kept the jewellery safe in her memory. We even bought a locker to keep it,” he said. “These things hold emotional value and were precious for the family,” he added.
Satyarthi said that he learnt about the theft when he was dining with the President of Panama, his wife and other dignitaries, including the Indian ambassador to Panama. “I was having a very intimate dinner with the president of Panama, his wife and other dignitaries when I got some messages and phone calls. I didn’t tell anyone because it’s not good to say that the national pride was stolen,” he said.
He further said that he has not thought of increasing the security at his house after the theft as he has nothing more to lose. “The citation was the first citation to someone who has been working for children in their history. I am the only Indian citizen who has got it. I had given my Nobel Prize medal and that is safely kept in Rashtrapati Bhavan museum. I kept the citation with me because I had thought that my grandson, who is now two, will read it when he grows up. My wife thought that it’s invaluable and we had specially bought a locker for it but it was broken,” he said.
He also said that the theft has strengthened his resolve to continue working for the cause of children.