New India more open for international scrutiny: Kailash Satyarthi

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New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday said the Indian government is no more hesitant at the scrutiny of international laws and his struggle will continue till children can live their childhood without fear.

“One good change that has come is the Government of India is now willing to take part in any international monitoring and they are no more afraid of any scrutiny,” said Satyarthi who has helped free 86,000 children from bonded labour since his crusade that started in 1981.

Speaking at the launch of his book “Every Child Matters”, he recalled the day when he was targeted by both India and Pakistan as the agent of the rival country’s spy agency for destroying the carpet industry by highlighting the child labour engaged in it, but noted later the carpet industry flourished when child labour was removed.

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Satyarthi said there are 20 crore jobless people in the world and there are 15 crore children engaged in labour. If these children are freed, the same number of jobs can be provided to the grown-ups. “This is a vicious circle. Institutions are still to be made more accountable,” he said.

Since the advent of computers, he said detailed data of 50,000 to 60,000 children freed by him of the total 86,000 children are available for anyone to see how these freed children were rehabilitated and what they are doing currently. Satyarthi himself has three rehabilitation centres for housing about 250 children in the transit time.

“I won’t say not a single child has gone back after being freed but most have been rehabilitated. We keep a track of them. Many have become teachers, four are engineers, there is a lawyer in the making and several have become leaders in their community,” he said.

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Citing the recent incident when a girl from Jharkhand on asking for salary after working for three years without pay was killed and her body cut into 12 pieces, Satyarthi said: “Who failed her? The country’s institutions failed her. I am angry because she was my daughter. She was your daughter.”

The Nobel laureate said he has faith in the judiciary and he would keep on writing, fighting and knocking the doors of justice till children of the country can live their childhood with freedom, free from any fear and get chance to live their dreams.

“Whether you are a judge, politician, diplomat or a journalist, there is panic in the house if the daughter or sister comes late to house by a couple of hours without any communication as the battery of her cellphone died. We would have called all her friends. There is this fear that should not be there,” he said.

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–IANS

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