State activists to follow Satyarthi's footsteps

When the news of Kailash Satyarthi being conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize broke out on Friday, individuals and organisations working in the field of child rights across Bangalore and Karnataka rejoiced at the honour.

 There are many who have been greatly influenced by the life and work of Kailash. Gopinath R, Managing Director of Sparsha, still remembers the time he spent an entire day with Kailash back in 2012.

“I was one of the two persons from the state who was invited to the National Conference on Education Bill in 2012. I visited Kailash’s Bal Ashram in Delhi. It was a wonderful day and I was greatly inspired by its concept,” he said.

Gopinath will be building a similar centre near Hessarghatta that will be called Nisarga Grama.
“This is a centre that has been directly motivated by him. The work on building this will start in December,” he added.

True to the ideology of its creator, the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), that was started by Kailash back in 1980’s, has also been very active in the City and the State for quite some time. In 2013, it rescued as many as 150 children who were other wise working in circuses, as domestic labourers and in agarbathi factories. It has also helped in rescuing children from the clutches of traffickers.

Dr Vani Kantli, State Programme Coordinator of BBA, said: “Kailash is popular among activist across India for his work for children and his BBA.

All those who have worked with him know that he was not only a great curator but also had the power to convince people with what he was saying. He was also a great showman who could draw masses for a cause,” he said.

Vasudev Sharma, Director, Child Rights Trust, and prominent child rights activist in the state, had the chance to meet Kailash 15 years ago when he visited Bangalore on his “padayatra”. 
Vasudeva along with many other activists were a part of this endeavour. “It was fascinating to be a part of this struggle.

They call him a showman. But to spread the message of child rights and bonded labour you need to be a showman, he said.

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