Invest In Education, Health Of Children, Says Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi

Mohali: Noting that children are not “our future” but “our present”, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Wednesday underscored the need for investing in their education, health and wellbeing.

He described it as a “serious matter” and highlighted that eight children disappear every hour in India and are forced into slavery, prostitution and begging.

“Many people think that children are our future but they are not. Children are our present and if we cannot shape our present and we if cannot protect and educate our present, then the future will be dark,” Satyarthi said on the sidelines of ‘Nobel Prize Series India 2019’ here.

“I strongly feel that we should invest in our children, invest in their health and education, safety and wellbeing. Unfortunately, this is not happening in the world,” he lamented while addressing media.

Nobel Prize Series India 2019 is a three-day programme in which nobel laureates will give lectures and take part in roundtable discussions together with experts, teachers and students.

“What did we teach our children? We talked hatred, we gave them identities to become Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain and what not. Children never created any borders but the world has been fighting for borders for ages,” he rued.

Children were never responsible for any violence, “but they are the worst sufferers and victims in the world… We have to learn from children instead of teaching theses wrongs which we have accumulated as ready-made answers for centuries and ages”, he said.

He said people should learn compassion and simplicity from children who are taught to become liars.

To a question on alleged incidents of child lifting, Satyarthi said children are lifted for slavery and other illegal activities and the people should raise their voice against such cases.

“Some of such cases are reported and sometimes sentiments become bitter and violent. The irony is that while we are talking, eight children reportedly go missing every hour as per NCB (National Crime Records) data.

“They do not disappear in thin air. They are taken for slavery, prostitution, organ sale, forced begging and this is a serious matter. If you see children begging in Chandigarh, Mohali they are not local. They are stolen from states like Bihar, Jhakhand and other parts of the country. They are brought here by traffickers,” he said.

To a question on mob lynching of those suspected of child lifting, he said nobody can support any lynching. “If one has the slightest doubt that somebody is lifting a child then call the police instead of being involved in acts that are unconstitutional and illegal,” he further said.

Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, said he had a dream of shaking hands and getting a photograph clicked with a Nobel Laureate since he was six or seven years old.

“But it did not happen for 50 years,” he said.

The moment came when he got a dozen photos clicked while standing in front of a washroom mirror after his name was announced for the Nobel Peace Prize award, he said.