The Ripple Effect “A Conversation with Kailash Satyarthi
FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), under President 2017-18, Vasvi Bharat Ram, organised an interactive session with Shri Kailash Satyarthi on May 17, 2017 at FICCI.
The session aptly titled, “The Ripple Effect” was organised with the objective to deliberate and showcase positive examples of people who managed to beat the odds in India’s villages, towns and cities, work for the upliftment of the society and more specifically protecting children from the scourge of bondage, trafficking and exploitative labour . These inspirational stories have to be shared not only to inspire the society in general but also to highlight that there are ethical ways to protect child rights and work towards sustainable development.
Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said that poverty was slavery and denial of freedom and dignity, and urged the Government to spend more funds on the welfare of children. He said, “We are living with a lie that poverty is responsible for child labour. Its illiteracy, and education is the only key to help children. Most children from the underprivileged class are engaged in child labour and many are either driven to slavery and prostitution. This is a serious issue and not negotiable. India should prioritise spending on children’s welfare to reap the benefits of the country’s demographics dividends,” he said.
He said apart from the Government, the corporate sector and the civil society will have to play important and work hand in hand for ensuring justice for neglected and abused children across the country as well as globally. Talking about women and what change they can bring in society, the Nobel winner said, “Every woman should understand there is no hero or change maker out there, you do not need any one,” and added, women are the backbone of this country and they can make India the greatest country of this planet.”
FLO President Vasvi Bharat Ram said, “The story of India is one of growth, achievement and challenges. On one hand, when the nation is reaping the benefits of the demographic dividend of a young and emergent work force, it also faces the grave problem of child labour and other forms of crime against children. The good news is child labour has been decreasing, though at an abysmal rate of 2.2% per year from 2001 to 2011. The bad news is 1 in every 11 children below 14 years in India is working. This is as per International Labour Organization’s World Report on Child Labour 2015 and CRY recent analysis of the Census 2011.”
“The primary objective of FLO is women empowerment. However, our responsibility towards the society doesn’t end there. With nearly half million children in the country, we need to ensure that the gaps are bridged and we contribute towards the survival, growth, development and sustenance of India’s greatest asset: its children”, she added.
As a part of its activities, FLO brings together achievers from various arenas for interactive sessions on breaking through challenges and innovating change to achieve success. Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour since 1980. Child labour is a human rights issue that has staggering effects on poverty, illiteracy and humanity. Mr Satyarthi and the grassroots movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 84,000 children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation.
As a worldwide campaigner, he has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labour, which is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, Teachers’ Union and Trade Unions active in 140 countries. Mr. Satyarthi’s efforts led to the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on worst forms of child labour in 1999.