Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Person Is One Of Our Country's Unsung Heroes!


I have never heard of Kailash Satyarthi until his name was declared for this year's (2014) Nobel Peace Prize.  This media person also says so!  Instead of our government or media recognizing him, a Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized him and awarded him, the Nobel peace prize alongwith Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai. 'Satyarthi, 60, and Yousafzai, 17,  were picked for their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.'

Now, I see his face in all the news papers and news channels, day in and day out!  His name was considered for this award for the past 5 years, it seems.  Still, nobody, even Barkha, Arnab or Rajdeep, our famous news gatherers mentioned anything about him.  Satyarthi (his 'bachpan bachaao aandholan') had saved around 80,000 children from Child labours in mines, quarries and other hard places at great risk to himself.  Every teashop, match making or small provision stores engage children.  Many of them are Bihari children...sometimes parents send them out for work out of poverty or the children leave home and start working at a young  age.  Satyarthi said in an interview yesterday that parents should give respect to their children and heed what they say.  The children should be happy in their homes/with their parents.  Then they won't run away and land with greedy people. 

Satyarthi was born in 1954 at Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh.  He did his graduation (Electrical Engineer) in Vidisha and then did did his Post graduation at Bhopal.  He said in an interview that he did this to please his parents.  He became a Lecturer and worked for a few years in a college in Bhopal.  Wiki says:

n 1980, he gave up his career as a teacher and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Liberation Front; he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Mission) that year. He has also been involved with the Global March Against Child Labor.

Another link says this about him.

NEW DELHI — Many years have passed, but a police chief named Amitabh Thakur can remember the precise moment when he first set eyes on Kailash Satyarthi, who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Mr. Satyarthi was lying on the ground, bleeding profusely from the head, while a group of men converged on him with bats and iron rods. They worked for the Great Roman Circus, which was illegally employing teenagers trafficked from Nepal as dancing girls. Mr. Satyarthi, a Gandhian activist in a simple white cotton tunic, had come to free them.  As he approached the scene, the chief realized he was interrupting a savage beating.

 Born about six and a half years after India won independence, Mr. Satyarthi, 60, was so deeply impressed with Gandhi’s teachings that, as a teenager, he invited a group of high-caste local bigwigs to a meal prepared by low-caste “untouchables”; the invited guests boycotted the event and then shunned his family. Deeply upset, the boy dropped his Brahmin family name in favor of Satyarthi, which means “seeker of truth,” according to an account on his website.

This link says how his family of a daughter and a son with his wife supported him throughout his work all these years.

This is a story of a child labourer in a quarry, who was educated by Satyarthi.  We can come across many stories like this in the following days!

Another link says this about him:

Among those who celebrated on Friday was Mohammad Manan Ansari, who began working at a mica mine at 6, digging ore that would sell for 5 to 20 cents a pound. Mr. Ansari, now a college student in his late teens, recalled watching as a small friend was crushed by falling rocks in one of the mine’s tunnels. He said he would be grateful to Mr. Satyarthi for the rest of his life.

“My happiest moment was when Bachpan Bachao Andolan workers came and saved me,” he said. “Now Kailash’s Nobel is the second happiest moment of my life. I can’t explain my joy in my own words.”

Satyarthi is the seventh Nobel peace prize and only the second Indian winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa in 1979.  

The NDTV interview with Satyarthi is here.  The interviewer is not very good, though. 

Let us all celebrate him! We need more people like him here, in India, people who have guts to serve others instead of their own families like us.

Photo courtesy: google



Jeevan said...

You provided many facts about him! He deserves and makes us proud

Destination Infinity said...

I didn't get much info Online about him. Yet to read the Wiki page though. I think in the coming days, we'll get more info on what he did and how. He is the first Indian to get a Nobel Peace Prize (after Mother Teresa, who is not strictly in Indian - or is not Indian-origin at least) and that's a great thing.

I wonder how this is possible and what makes people work for a cause passionately for 30+ years! I am also surprised by his belief in humanity.

Destination Infinity

SG said...

Mr. Satyarthi is really an unsung hero. We come to know of many Indians only after foreigners recognize them. It is a shame.

Sandhya said...

JEEVAN: Yes, Jeevan! Atleast outsiders recognised his work!

DESTINATION INFINITY: I have quoted 3-4 links in my post. You can read them.

They are born for serving others. They are definitely a different species. His daughter studied abroad because of fear of getting into trouble here, in India from people who are affected by her father's work. It is in one article. These people are one of a kind.

SG: Yes, SG. I read an article later in The Hindu where they say that his name was not proposed by Indians but Europeans! 'Other Nobel experts pointed to the fact that Mr. Satyarthi had been nominated not by the Indian government but by members of the European Parliament known for their activism.'

KParthasarathi said...

That was a great post and very well written.Such selfless persons like Kailash Satyarthi working for a noble cause are hard to come by.Never mind his not getting country's civilian awards but it is heartwarming to know his contribution has been recognized and he honored by world renowned Nobel Committee.Thank you Sandhya for highlighting his yeoman service to the cause of children.

BK Chowla, said...

There would be a millions like him who would never be recognized.
Each Govt is too busy with corruption
Each media wants only those who create TRPs

Deeps said...

That was such an insightful post, Sandhya!Even I hadnt heard of Kailash Satyarthi until the news of his award began circulating. It is so sad,isnt it, that we keep our awareness open to only as much information as the media choose to dish out to us? Everyone knew about Malala because of the coverage and attention she and her cause got. If the same kind of attention Mr.Satyarthi's drive had garnered, I'm sure we would have had better understanding,much earlier:)

Sandhya said...

K.PARTHASARATHY: He is a great man. Even now, people are discussing more about Pakistan and India getting peace prize together or Hindu and muslim getting the peace prize without giving importance to the work he has done and still doing, which is very sad. Media needs sensational news, that is all.

Thank you, Partha Sir!

BK CHOWLA: I don't believe that media persons didn't know about him. he had been nominated for this prize for the past 5 years, every year. I remember reading about nominations also in newspapers. But Satyarthi is not a glamorous person...sickening.

DEEPS: Yes, Deepti! Europeans covered Malala's story. Here, we never appreciate our own people. Europeans recommended his name for this Peace prize too.

Thank you, Deepti.

Rama Ananth said...

Very informative. It is indeed a very proud moment for all Indians. I wish more people like him are brought to everybody's notice by the media.
We hear only of politicians and their bad deeds and never about such noble people.

Renu said...

People like him make life worth living..its a shame that media covers criminals more more extensively then do gooders.

Rahul Bhatia said...

A great feat and now we can take pride of adding one more Noble laurate in a short list, so far! Lovely tale of hard work and honest intentions!

Avada Kedavra said...

Even I had never heard about him or his contributions before he got Nobel prize. It is really sad actually. Thanks for all the info Sandhya.

Sandhya said...

RAMA ANANTH: Very rarely we get to read positive news nowadays. We are made to think the our land is full of only bad people. But as usual, only negative news catches the eye first and so the media goes for it. Hmmm....many other people from our country are being nominated for Nobel prize, esp. for Peace for the past many years. But this is not juicy news, so they don't get registered in our mind. It is our mistake too.

RENU: Yes, Renu!

RAHUL BHATIA: This person was recommended for this prize for the past 5 years, it seems and we never knew!

AVADA KEDAVRA: We should remember these people always, Ash! Thank you! said...

It is a matter of shame that most Indians, including I, had never heard of Kailash Satyarthi until the Nobel announcement.

Crafty Shines said...

Sandhyamma, even I heard of him after he was awarded.

And makes me wonder how many more unsung heroes who do their bit, will not be noticed.

But for people like him, I guess what keeps them going has got nothing to do with recognition or laurels. The passion is something else, and something selfless.

But this limelight should help him in his cause, and that's always good.

sm said...

nice information

Krishna/കൃഷ്ണ said...

Indeed post...


sweetyshinde said...

So few Indians (including me) were even aware of his existence!
Honestly, newspapers should highlight these persons rather than fill pages and pages about filmstars & their affairs.

ashok said...

good to see the recognition for this real life hero..

hitchwriter said...

You have given so many facts about him... :) Strange na that we get to know about an Indian only when he gets a Nobel from a foreign country for doing good to the society here!

Onkar said...

Very well written piece on one of our silent icons

Sandhya said...

PROACTIVE INDIAN: I am sorry I couldn't acknowledge early since I was not in station.

Yes, nobody knew about him and he didn't bother about it also, which is rare nowadays!

I see one or two news items about him nowadays in the newspapers..after he got the Nobel prize!

CRAFTYSHINES: Yes, Crafty. Hope he gets more help without asking, hereafter and help more people.

SM: Thank you, sm!

KRISHNA: Thank you, Krishna!

SWEETYSHINDE: I agree with you, Sweety Shinde!

ASHOK: Yes, Ashok!


ONKAR: Thank you, Onkar!

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