Satyarthi urges MPs to pass anti-child labour bill

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 14, 2014 21:13 IST

Making a strong pitch for passage of a pending legislation against child labour, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Sunday history "won't forgive" the MPs if they fail in the task.

"I want to make an earnest appeal to all parliamentarians, and also to other leaders to facilitate the passage of the key legislation failing which history and children of India won't forgive them," Satyarthi said at a press conference in Delhi after his return from Oslo where he was conferred the Nobel Peace Prize.

Satyarthi said he wants child labour to go into the "pages of history".

"Gandhiji turned truth, non-violence and peace into a mass movement. My appeal is to turn compassion into a mass movement. Let us globalise compassion," the Nobel laureate added.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment (CLPRA) Bill, if passed, will prohibit employment of children below 14 years in any occupation, bringing the law in consistency with the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.

Earlier, Satyarthi accompanied by his wife Sumedha, visited Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Rajghat where they paid homage to the father of the nation.

Satyarthi, 60, an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, said that he could "visualise Gandhi walking towards the stage" to receive the award while he was sitting at the podium at the ceremony in Oslo.

"When I was sitting at the podium, I was remembering him (Gandhiji) every single moment. I could visualise him walking

towards the stage to receive the award," said an emotional Satyarthi.

On being asked how he would spend the prize money, Satyarthi said that he had previously "never seen" that much money in his life, quickly adding that he would spend "every single penny" for the cause of children in India and globally.

"I have never seen or touched that amount of money in my life before. But I can assure you that every single penny will

go to the cause of children in my country and globally. The money won't even go to my own NGO," he said.

After landing in India in the wee hours of Sunday, Satyarthi tweeted, "Jai Hind. No words to express my feelings" adding

"Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Heartfelt welcome home by fellow Indians".

Satyarthi, who jointly received the award along with Pakistani teenager and education activist Malala Yousufzai, said that "sustainable peace" between India and Pakistan could only result from more mutual cooperation.

"I am not a politician but as far as I understand more people to people contact, mutual cooperation is required for

any kind of sustainable peace between the two countries," he said.

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