Kailash Satyarthi wages war against child abuse and trafficking: Announces Bharat Yatra, a march to make India safe again for children


Kailash Satyarthi at the Bharat Yatra launch

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who has been working tirelessly for children’s rights in India, is embarking on a historic march to frontline the fight against child trafficking and child sexual abuse across India. Bharat Yatra, history’s biggest social mobilization, is a march through 22 states and union territories covering 15,000 kilometres in 35 days!

The Yatra will flag off from Kanyakumari on September 11, from the Vivekananda Memorial, commemorating the anniversary of Vivekananda’s address at Chicago in 1893. The culmination of the Yatra will be in New Delhi on October 15.

“Today, I declare a war on child sexual abuse and trafficking. I refuse to accept that the perpetrators are free and fearless when the victims and ordinary people are living in fear. This is not an ordinary crime the children face. It is a moral epidemic haunting our country and the world,” he said.

“We refuse to accept that our children will forever live in fear, we refuse to accept that our children will be forever subjected to violence, violence as grim as sexual abuse and trafficking. We refuse to accept that it cannot be stopped. We refuse to accept that we together cannot make it stop.”

We have to break our silence as a nation

Insisting on the unity of the nation, Satyarthi added “We cannot accept this. We have to break our silence as a nation. We have to raise our voice, united as a nation, to stop this menace.”

Satyarthi is putting in constant efforts in creating a society where children feel free to walk, talk and share anything with their parents. Stats show that 70 per cent of the sexual assaults on children are committed by close relatives or acquaintances. Satyarthi, firm in his belief that if any relative, family member or neighbor is committing a crime, it should be brought to light without the fear of bringing shame to the family name. Dedicated to not leave any stone unturned, he claimed that this is a war he wants to fight!

“Children are being sold for Rs. 20,000. When I speak to victims’ families they ask me with anguish how are we getting sold cheap. Even animals are sold for a higher price. Are our children worse than animals? Let us rise above all politics and religion to put an end to this menace,” Satyarthi agonizes.

Cutting down the barriers of religion and caste, he says that these children don’t belong to any religion, caste or creed. They are being targeted because they are children and are helpless. After meeting with the haunted and traumatized parents of Gudiya, the gang rape victim from Shimla, Satyarthi lamented that “each drop of tear coming out of their eyes was a stinging indictment of our religions, our culture, our civilization and our Constitution.”

He requests the nation to join him in this march and be the change India needs.

[ Source : intoday ]

Written by Loknath Das