Children are my religion
Kailash Satyarthi, the first Indian Nobal Peace Prize Winner, dedicated his life to fight against child labour in India. Instead of writing about him, I thought using his strongest quotes would be more appropriate to share his inspiring words with you. I was lucky to meet him in the Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia in New Delhi.
„No problem on earth is an isolated problem. Solutions are not found in isolation. We have to work collectively.
Child labour is not just a lack of poverty or lack of impact of law, (…). It is a combination of all – a social evil.
Illiteracy is violence. Poverty is violence. Child labour is violence. It is a vicious circle.
The people who work silencely, will also be recognized. Some place. Somewhere.
Peace means people. Friendship is the foundation.
Gandhi was able to translate human values in political movements. He transformed non-violence in a freedom movement. I learned from him how to translate human compassion in action.
When I won the Nobel Peace Prize, I prepared a journey to Germany. Suddenly people were hugging me, cried. What happened?
I strongly felt that I have limited energy and ressources. I have to see whether spend that energy for my cause or for media attention.
It cannot be done by an individual. It has to be done collectively.
Children are my religion. I always had the feeling of god, when I see a childs smile after freeing from slavery.
What we need is 18 billion to educate all children in the world. That is less than 3 days of military expenditure.
We are not insensitive in India. Our main problem is that our perspective became so narrow that we only look at our own children. We have to use the compassion for our own children for a bigger cause.
15 years ago we could not have a glass of water on the street – it was connected with child labour. While working on the field, we had to stay hungry and thirsty. Now we can eat and drink in some places.
In the past 15 years the poorest of the poor in remote areas realized that education is empowerment.
Social Media is very powerful. It must be used. But not at the costs of the mainstream media.
India can be mother of 100 problems. But it can also be home of million of solutions. I believe in the solutions.
When I was in a very remote village in the Ivory Coast I talked to a young boy, maybe 13 years old. He worked with cocoa beans. This is the key ingredient for chocolate. I asked him: How do you like chocolate? He answered: What is that? None of those children have ever tasted chocolate in their life.
I have met kids stiching footballs. Their biggest dream was once to play football. What could I say to that child. Who is guilty for that?
Children are often sold for a very little amount – you cannot even buy a Buffalo for that amount of money!
When it concerns your brother, your sister, your daughter, you will act right away. If it concerns other children, those are numbers, stories. We need the compassion you have for your brothers and sisters.
Do it now!“