A child rights and education activist, Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of the fight against child labour and servitude since he left his engineering career in 1980. During his visit to Washington for multiple peace events and meetings, the Nobel Laureate expressed his belief that every last child in India would be free, safe, and educated by 2047.
Freedom To The Fullest
He stated that he wishes India could accomplish this even before India celebrates 100 years of independence, as reported by The Hindu. Satyarthi added that when a girl from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, or even down south, hailing from the lowest and marginalized economic and social strata, is allowed and free to go to school and gets the same opportunities as everyone else, only then India would achieve 'freedom to the fullest'.
Vision For India Of 2047
He was replying to a question about his vision for India for when it celebrates 100 years of independence. Satyarthi, in an interview with PTI, said that the government would need all the support it can get from society and the private sector and that 'social and political will' is crucial in curbing child labour in the country. He added that global child trafficking is still a stigma, and though India has made progress, a lot more is still needed.
India's Fight Against Child Labour
India has done 'much better' in the fight against child labour in recent times as compared to previous years, Satyarthi stated. He praised the law that prohibits any form of child labour up to 14 years of age, and any form of hazardous labour up to 18 years of age, saying that the implementation and enforcement of a law is always a challenge, but at least there is a good law in place, as reported by NDTV.
"A lot of progressive steps have been taken," Satyarthi said in the context of India ratifying the ILO convention on the worst forms of child labour and the minimum age of employment, something which a developed country like the USA hasn't done yet.
He added that children are going to be the worst sufferers of the pandemic, calling Covid a crisis of civilization. "Millions of children will be forced to leave schools," he said, emphasizing the sincerity and urgency required so that kids don't fall into trafficking, child labour, and slavery.