Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 12
“It is said a person retires after getting the Nobel prize and frequently goes to the USA. The Nobel Peace Prize is just a comma, not a full stop in my life. The freedom of millions of children gives me peace and I am not going to stop here,” said Kailash Satyarthi, who was at Panjab University for the sixth foundation day lecture today.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is the Lal Bahadur Shastri Chair Professor at the university.
Regarding his “Bharat Yatra” against child abuse, which will cover over 11,000 km across 22 states, he said, “I have received 42,000 invitations from 70 to 75 countries. It will take 125 to 150 years to all attend these functions. So, I thought I will go without an invitation. The invitation is from ‘silence’, invisible because the Indian youth are suffering. Child sexual abuse has become an epidemic. It is killing the souls of children. As many as 70 per cent of the accused are from among family members.”
He talked about four Ps being in danger. “The first P is people who are displaced. Twenty-three crore children are affected by insurgency and wars, and their health, including mental, is affected. As many as 13 crore children are directly affected by war, 15 crore children are in slavery while six crore children are yet to see school.” The second P is planet. “On global warming, some countries are marching ahead while some, which are causing more pollution, are dragging their feet. One out of six is suffering, including 50 crore children.”
Talking about profit, the third P, he said, “Profit is monopolised in fewer hands. Inequality has increased. It has to be inclusive, both socially and economically.”
The fourth P for him is peace. “Intolerance has grown. Violence is growing. Peace is in danger,” he said.
“Our youngsters are fighting for their careers and accomplishments, and their entire struggle today is driven by growth. Have they become a tool or component or fuel or lubricant of the growth engine…We are growing so fast,” he said. “However, we are not able to win the hearts of our wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends…I also search for a high-end phone. iPhone 8 has just come and I am thinking about iPhone 9,” he said, adding that “we are driven by speed and want our phones and computers to run faster”.
“We want to reach places faster, but we are not able to reach 100 crore people, who will sleep hungry today and 200 crore, who do not get clean drinking water.”
He narrated an incident of a suicide by a 13-year-old boy due to sexual abuse by relatives for four months. His parents were IAS officers. “As many as 53 per cent children go through sexual abuse, says a government report. A National Crime Record Bureau report says every hour, two children are raped. Every hour, eight children are lifted and sold.”
Mentions Kotkhai, Chandigarh incidents
“I didn’t want to go to Kotkhai in Shimla district as the issue of the gangrape and murder of a minor girl had been politicised. I called the parents of the victim to my place…The mother didn’t talk to us, she was in a shock, even after a month. She was crying. The father was angry, and started crying.”
He said no one should suffer like him. He told me that his 15-year-old daughter had told him not to worry about her marriage as she would become an IAS officer,” Satyarthi said.
“In the 10-year-old girl’s rape case in Chandigarh, her mother remained quiet. When things went out of control and the girl got pregnant, the uncles were arrested. I do not believe the notion that the dignity of the victim is lost, rather it is the rapist who loses his dignity,” he said.
News Courtesy : TOI,Tribune