‘Child is not born to be a slave’: Kailash Satyarthi addresses college students in Chandigarh | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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‘Child is not born to be a slave’: Kailash Satyarthi addresses college students in Chandigarh

Nobel initiative: Satyarthi was in city as part of his ‘Bharat Yatra’ initiative aimed at eradicating child sexual abuse, trafficking and child labour

punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2017 14:17 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Kailash Satyarthi taking a selfie with Panjab University students in Chandigarh on Thursday.
Kailash Satyarthi taking a selfie with Panjab University students in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Anil Dayal/HT)

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi , as part of his ‘Bharat Yatra’ initiative aimed at eradicating child sexual abuse, trafficking and child labour, reached Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42 in Chandigarh on Thursday.

Quick bytes
  • On child abuse: He said that everyone should fight against the age-old mind set revolving around rape. How ironical is it that the society blames the victim by saying ‘her honour is lost’ while the rapists roam around free and fearless. Satyarthi added that all need to have special courts which exclusively look after the welfare of children in every context, be it sexual abuse, trafficking, slavery or exploitation.
  • On SC judgement in minor wife case: He said, “Our endeavour of ‘Bachpan Bachao’ was working for this issue. I am extremely happy with this verdict and congratulate the Supreme Court for this judgment. I believe that if an under-age girl is married off, then that man is not her husband but rapist.”

“A child is not born to be a slave to others,” said Satyarthi during a talk organised by Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) at PGGCG-42. He believes if the childhood is safe, the country will be safe (Surakshit Bachpan, Surakshit Bharat).

He also visited Panjab University for the 6th Foundation Day lecture on the same day.

Every child is a ‘hero’

He said, “Every child is a champion and a hero.” The fact was reinforced when Satyarthi asked a question to two girls, “Tumhari dosti ki wajah kya hai (What is the reason behind your friendship)?” The girl, Arshiya, replied, “Jo wajah se ki jaaye, wo dosti nahi hoti (It’s not friendship if it is because of a reason).”

 According to him, children are made victims of war, of borders when they themselves have not done anything.

Be friends with children

Satyarthi said, “Children do not tell lies unless we teach them. Children forgive easily. The need is to start learning from children. We buy them things but we often forget to be their friends.”

 Education is everyone’s right

 He told them a story when he was 6-year-old.  “A child worked as a mochi with his father outside my school. When I was looking at him wondering why he was not in the school, he kept looking at my shoes. When I asked his father, he told me that he belonged to a certain caste and would keep on with the tradition,” he said.

 He was shocked and decided to bring about a change.

Compassion dispels darkness

 Then, he told another story to students how one can bring a change if one is willing to. Value of compassion is so powerful that it can dispel all sorts of darkness.

 “When I was 11, my friend and I hired a ‘thela’ with the money we got from our mothers and collected 2,500 used books in five hours to help those who could not purchase,” he said.

 “And when I won the Nobel Peace Prize, a person came to meet me who had retired as a headmaster and he told me that he was one of those who were able to secure education by using those books,” he added.

 Pledge against child abuse

 At the end of his lecture, everyone in the audience took a pledge to help make childhood safer and to report to authorities concerned if they come to know about a child facing abuse.  “The aim is to make our houses and our country a safe place for our children,” said Satyarthi.