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AS A GLOBAL CITIZEN

Kailash Satyarthi is a strong believer of the ancient Indian Vedic teaching 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam' (One World One Family). He was born in 1954 at Vidisha in central India. Vidisha is a very old town which is well known for giving birth to one of the first Buddhist Ambassadors, Mahendra and Sangamitra (son and daughter of Emperor Ashoka). However, the Prince and Princess gave up the Kingdom and opted for Monkhood to spread Buddhism in India and other countries like Sri Lanka, Burma, etc.

 

Inspired by this history since childhood, Satyarthi strictly opposed all barriers of nations, religions, class and cultures which divide humans. He started his international role by linking sustainable development with indigenous cultures through a regional organization Asian Cultural Forum on Development. He served them as the country coordinator. He was also elected as the Convenor of Asian Workers Solidarity Link which was essentially working among the unorganized sector. These platforms let him highlight the plight of child slaves from India and South Asia in a strong way. During his struggle against bonded labor, he brought the issue before the UN Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery in Geneva, which was not an easy task due to the vengeful functioning of the Indian and other South Asian governments. The governments were very sensitive because they were completely denying the existence of child slavery. Many threats and hurdles were faced on the way.

 

Despite all odds he forged ahead and continued his march. Satyarthi has been inspiring, initiating and leading civil society organizations in all continents of the globe. He has emerged as one of the most powerful orators and advocates of the disadvantaged, oppressed and exploited children of the world.

 

He has built a strong support base due to his worldwide consumers awareness campaign against the use of products made by children. In the course of preparing for the Global March and during the actual march, he traveled to almost all major countries making personal as well as professional friends. These include people from all walks of life from very ordinary citizens, to lawmakers and heads of governments. But, whether in the US or Latin America, or Africa, or Europe or the middle east or India, what he enjoys most, is his very personal bond with children, of love, of friendship.

 

Through all his thoughts, words and deeds, Satyarthi expresses his personal commitment to bringing freedom and joy to the children of the world.

Kailash Satyarthi... the seeker of truth
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