Kailash Satyarthi

Kailash Satyarthi was born on 11 January 1954 in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India. He did his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Bhopal University (now Barkatullah University), followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Transformer Design. He has actively spoken out on social issues since his childhood. Over the years, he has led many campaigns against issues such as untouchability and child marriage. Under his leadership, more than 1,50,000 children have been rescued from child labour and slavery since 1981. He has survived several fatal attacks conducting rescue operations.

In 1998, he organized the Global March Against Child Labour, which travelled across 103 countries over a period of six months. The direct result of this march was the International Labour Organization Convention 182 against the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which is the only universally ratified convention of the ILO.

To ensure access to education for every child in the world, Satyarthi set up the Global Campaign for Education in 1999. In India, he led a nationwide march to fight for the right to education for all children, which led to an amendment to the Constitution of India to make education a fundamental right. In 2017, he led another Bharat Yatra, a nationwide march covering 11,000 kilometres against sexual abuse and trafficking of children. Soon after the march, a stringent legal framework against sexual abuse of children in India was introduced. He has organized several other campaign marches against child labour and trafficking in India and other parts of South Asia. For the rehabilitation, education and leadership development of survivors, he has established Mukti Ashram, Bal Ashram and Balika Ashram.

For his extraordinary contribution towards the upliftment of humanity, Satyarthi has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (2014), the Medal of the Italian Senate, the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) Defender of Democracy Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the Harvard Humanitarian Award and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award, among others. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by many reputable universities.

He has more than six publications to his name.

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