Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has found an admirer in Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
In India as part of Elders — a group of independent global leaders brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela — to create awareness on the ills of child marriage, Tutu said, “I am impressed by the political will being shown by the Bihar CM to end discrimination prevalent in the society against the girl child.”
Tutu and the Elders team returned to the Capital on Thursday after touring Patna to garner support for eliminating child marriage.
"The Bihar chief minister has set himself certain benchmarks, and is looking to achieve certain goals. I am surprised by his political will to do something positive," Tutu told reporters at a press conference.
The other member of elders who are in India include Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA, a voluntary organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland, first woman Prime Minister of Norway and Mary Robinson, first woman president of Ireland.
“Political will to fight the ills of child marriage is very important. It is not only a human rights issue. It is also a development issue,” Tutu said.
Robinson said, “We are also engaging with grass root workers, students, civil society to create awareness about this burning issue.”
Nearly ten million girls are married out each year before the age of 18 across the world. India stands 14th on the list.