Nobel laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi’s book, “Every Child Matters” was released on 1st June at Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg,New Delhi. The launch took place at the hands of Honourable Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Judge, Supreme Court of India. The highlight of the launch was a special discussion between noted journalist and Padma Bhushan Awardee Shekhar Gupta and the author. The book is a compilation of columns and interviews which highlight the continuing struggle to create safe childhoods. Readers will find much to introspect after going through this collection. On the occasion, Shri Kailash Satyarthi said, “Every child matters and every word matters, if we want to live with truth, justice, righteousness and peace. But today children are forced to lose their childhood and words are made shallow, due to lack of humanity and compassion. I always try to use words which can ignite a spark of hope in the darkness of fear. I write when I am desperate to connect minds and souls for our children. My articles are the expression of urgency for action. My writings are a reflection of my struggle, they are my anger at our apathy, theyare my hope that I can inspire ideas and actions that can change politics and practices.”
Addressing the audience, Justice Mr. Ranjan Gogoi said, “This book has thrown a very important question. Does every child matter? The answer is yes. It’s no secret that the justice delivery system is begging for a complete overhaul. Assuming today is the day of judgement, I don’t think we can wait. The sooner we realize that societal and political will are what it takes to eradicate child abuse, the sooner our children will be free.”
Society has celebrated children even as it has denied fundamental rights and dignity to millions of them. Mass movements and social awareness against injustices like child labour, lack of access to health and education, child sexual abuse and trafficking have been catalysed by reformers like Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. As a result of his untiring efforts, child labour is now universally considered to be a social evil that has to be abolished. Equally important societies and governments across the world have accepted that access to quality education is the fundamental right of every child. Even as he has fought for justice and dignity for children, Mr. Satyarthi has found time to provoke, inspire and illuminate young minds by writing about children, their dreams and the power of their humanity. The organizer of the book launch, Prabhat Kumar, said, “We are proud to have published Shri Kailash Satyarthi’s book. He is a champion who has fought for the cause of child rights all his life.”
For thirty-eight years, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi has struggled against the oppression of children and fought for their rights. He is the only India-born recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a resident of the country. He received the Nobel Prize in 2014. The issue of child rights and child labour was not yet a part of the public discourse when Mr. Satyarthi founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) in 1981. BBA has since rescued more than 86,000 children from conditions of exploitative labour and modern-day slavery, and successfully rehabilitated them into society.