Kailash Satyarthi

Kailash Satyarthi

Satyarthi in 2015
Native name कैलाश सत्यार्थी
Born Kailash Sharma[1]
(1954-01-11) 11 January 1954[2]
Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Education Electrical engineering[1]
Alma mater Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha[3][4]
Known for Activism for children's rights and children's education
Religion Hinduism[5]
Awards The Aachener International Peace Prize, Germany (1994)
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (1995)
Alfonso Comin International Award (2008)
Medal of the Italian Senate (2007)
Defenders of Democracy Award (2009)
Nobel Peace Prize (2014)
Harvard Humanitarian Award (2015)[6]
Website KailashSatyarthi.net

Kailash Satyarthi (born 'Kailash Sharma'; 11 January 1954)[7] is an Indian children's rights and education advocate and an activist against child labour.[5][8] He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (lit. Save the Childhood Movement) in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries.[9][10] It is largely because of Satyarthi's work and activism that the International Labour Organization adopted Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, which is now a principal guideline for governments around the world.[8]

His work is recognized through various national and international honours and awards including the Nobel Peace Prize of 2014, which he shared with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.[11]

Early life

Kailash Satyarthi speaking at the Global Campaign for Education World Assembly in Paris, France, February 2011

Originally named Kailash Sharma, Satyarthi was born on 11 January 1954 in the Vidisha district of central Indian state Madhya Pradesh.[1][2]

He attended Government Boys Higher Secondary School in town,[3] and completed his degree in electrical engineering[2] at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha[1][3][4] and a post-graduate degree in high-voltage engineering. He then joined a college in Bhopal as a lecturer for a few years.[12]


In 1980, he gave up his career as an engineer and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Liberation Front; he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) that year.[13][14] He has also been involved with the Global March Against Child Labor[15] and its international advocacy body, the International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE),[16] which are worldwide coalitions of NGOs, teachers and trades unionists.[17][18] He has also served as the President of the Global Campaign for Education, from its inception in 1999 to 2011, having been one of its four founders alongside ActionAid, Oxfam and Education International.[19]

In addition, he established GoodWeave International (formerly known as Rugmark) as the first voluntary labelling, monitoring and certification system of rugs manufactured without the use of child-labour in South Asia.[20][21][22] This latter organisation operated a campaign in Europe and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the intent of raising consumer awareness of the issues relating to the accountability of global corporations with regard to socially responsible consumerism and trade.[23] Satyarthi has highlighted child labor as a human rights issue as well as a welfare matter and charitable cause. He has argued that it perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems,[24] and his claims have been supported by several studies.[25][26] He has also had a role in linking the movement against child labour with efforts for achieving "Education for All".[27] He has been a member of a UNESCO body established to examine this and has been on the board of the Fast Track Initiative (now known as the Global Partnership for Education).[28] Satyarthi serves on the board and committee of several international organisations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the International Cocoa Foundation. He is now reportedly working on bringing child labour and slavery into the post-2015 development agenda for the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.[29]

Satyarthi, along with Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".[30] Satyarthi is the fifth Nobel Prize winner for India and only the second Indian winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa in 1979.

Personal life

He lives in New Delhi, India. His family includes his wife, a son, daughter-in-law and a daughter.[31] He has been described as an excellent cook.[32]

Awards and honours

Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films.[33] Satyarthi has been awarded the following national and international honours:

Reception in India

The discussion of illegalization of child labor was raised after Satyarthi received the Nobel Prize. According to some, it will make child labor go underground, which may cause reduced wages.[49]

Meet-up for Childhood Freedom at Lincoln Memorial

On 16 June 2015 Satyarthi gave a clarion call to leaders and countries towards global elimination of child labour and slavery. Satyarthi was joined by a large number of child right groups and organisations at the Lincoln Memorial where he called for achieving freedom for the world's children from slavery, labour, abuse, trafficking and illiteracy.[50]


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Kidwai, Rasheed (10 October 2014). "A street rings with 'Nobel' cry". The Telegraph. Calcutta. Archived from the original on 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2014-10-13. Kailash Satyarthi was born Kailash Sharma in this Madhya Pradesh town but dropped the upper-caste surname […] Pravesh told The Telegraph. […] By 4pm, the Sharmas had had virtually the entire town of Vidisha visiting them. Almost every resident older than 50 has a story to tell about Kailash. Kailash had graduated in electrical engineering from the Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, and taught at a local polytechnic.
  2. 1 2 3 "Kailash Satyarthi: A profile". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Trivedi, Vivek (11 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi's hometown Vidisha celebrates Nobel win". News18.com. Noida, Uttar Pradesh: Network18. Retrieved 2014-10-14. He was born and brought up in Chhoti Haweli in Andar Quila area of the town. […] locals were seen drawing affiliation to institutions linked to Satyarhti including his schools – Toppura Primary School, Pedi school and Government Boys Higher Secondary School and Samrat Ashok Technological Institute (SATI) from where Satyarthi graduated in Electrical Engineering and later taught there for two years before embarking his journey to serve humanity.
  4. 1 2 Kapoor, Sapan (11 October 2014). "Gandhiji would have been proud of you, Kailash Satyarthi". The Express Tribune Blogs. Karachi. Retrieved 2014-10-14. Mr Kailash Satyarthi has come a long way since his engineering days at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, literally. My father, who was one year senior to this electrical engineering student, vividly remembers him […] who would come to the college in his staple kurta-payjama with a muffler tied around his neck.
  5. 1 2 3 P.J. George. "Malala, Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize". The Hindu.
  6. "'Brief Profile – Kailash Satyarthi'". 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  7. Satyarthi, Kailash. "Profile: Kailash Satyarthi" (Online). BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Grassroots Activist Made Ending Child Labor Global Cause". USembassy.gov. 11 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
  9. Dnaindia.com
  10. "Who is Kailash Satyarthi?". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  11. "The Nobel Peace Prize 2014". Nobel Foundation. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  12. Chonghaile, Clar (10 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi: student engineer who saved 80,000 children from slavery". theguardian.com. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  13. "Angaben auf der Seite des Menschenrechtspreises der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung". Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung e.V. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
  14. "Nobel Peace Prize Is Awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". New York Times. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  15. "The New Heroes . Meet the New Heroes . Kailash Satyarthi – PBS". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  16. "About". knowchildlabor.org.
  17. "Trust Women – Kailash Satyarthi".
  18. David Crouch (10 October 2014). "Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace prize". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  19. "The Role of Civil Society in the Dakar World Education Forum". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  20. "Who is India's Kailash Satyarthi, the other Nobel Peace Prize winner?". Rama Lakshmi. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  21. "A Fitting Nobel for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi". Amy Davidson. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  22. "RugMark USA – Entrepreneurs in Depth – Enterprising Ideas". PBS-NOW. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  23. "Principal Voices: Kailash Satyarthi". CNN. 2007-06-28. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  24. Satyarthi, Kailash (26 Sep 2012). "Child labour perpetuates illiteracy, poverty and corruption". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  25. Nanjunda, D C (2009). Anthropology and Child Labour. Mittal Publications. p. 91. ISBN 9788183242783.
  26. Shukla, C K; Ali, S (2006). Child Labour and the Law. Sarup & Sons. p. 116. ISBN 9788176256780.
  27. "Talk by human rights defender Kailash Satyarthi". oxotower.co.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  28. "Fund the Future: An action plan for funding the Global Partnership for Education" (pdf). April 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  29. "Why India's Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize: All you need to know". Firstpost.
  30. "Kailash Satyarthi – Facts". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  31. "Kailash Satyarthi – Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  32. Azera Parveen Rahman (10 October 2014). "Kailash Satyarthi loves to cook for rescued child labourers". news.biharprabha.com. IANS. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  33. "Bachpan Bachao Andolan produced film nominated for New York Film Festival". globalmarch.org.
  34. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kailash-Satyarthi-gets-Harvard-Humanitarian-of-the-Year-Award/articleshow/49427660.cms?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=TOIIndiaNews
  35. "Satyarthi's '3D' model: Dream, discover, do". Times of India. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  36. "Social Activist Kailash Satyarthi to get 2009 Defender of Democracy Award in U.S". 20 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  37. "Kailash Satyarthi". globalmarch.org. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  38. "Kailash Satyarthi". Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
  39. "Heroes Acting To End Modern-Day Slavery". U.S. Department of State.
  40. "Kailash Satyarthi – Architect of Peace". Architects of Peace.
  41. "Medal Recipients – Wallenberg Legacy, University of Michigan". University of Michigan.
  42. "Human Rights Award of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung". fes.de.
  43. "Our Board".
  44. "Robert F Kennedy Center Laureates".
  45. Ben Klein. "Trumpeter Awards winners". National Consumers League.
  46. "Nobel Peace Prize 2014: Pakistani Malala Yousafzay, Indian Kailash Satyarthi Honored For Fighting For Access To Education". Omaha Sun Times.
  47. "Aachener Friedenspreis 1994: Kailash Satyarthi (Indien), SACCS (Südasien) und Emmaus-Gemeinschaft (Köln)". Aachener Friedenspreis.
  48. "Fellows: Kailash Satyarthi". Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. 1993. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  49. Prashanth Perumal (24 November 2014). "Save the children, Legalize child labour.". Live Mint. Retrieved 9 December 2014. Acting on emotional appeals from activists will do more harm than good for children in poverty
  50. "Nobel Winner Kailash Satyarthi Calls for Global Elimination of Child Labour". NDTV. Retrieved 17 June 2015.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kailash Satyarthi.
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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize
With: Malala Yousafzai
Succeeded by
Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
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