<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thousands of people gathered in southern India on Monday to kick off what is expected to be the world’s largest march against the trafficking and sexual abuse of children as reports of such crimes continue to rise in the country.Organised by Nobel Laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, over 10 million people from across India are due to take part in the month-long “Bharat Yatra” – or India March – which will end in the capital New Delhi on Oct. 16.Flagging off the march from Kanyakumari, a coastal city on the southern-most tip of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, Satyarthi told crowds of school children, officials and activists it was time to shatter the silence around such crimes.
ALSO READ Sorry Mr. CEO, Ryan International is no victim and you have blood on your hands”The sun rises every morning. But today this morning is different and this sun is different. Today this sun rises to dispel the darkness of fear, hopelessness and shame faced by our children. Today we march to end this,” Satyarthi said.”India is known for a country where children are being raped, where children are being sold. They are not safe in their schools; they are not safe even in their homes. If one child is in danger, then it means that the whole of India is danger.”
ALSO READ Ryan student death: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar assures victim’s father of CBI investigationChildren in India face a barrage of threats ranging from human trafficking, sexual violence and early marriage to a lack of access to quality education and healthcare, say activists.More than 9,000 children were reported to have been trafficked in 2016, a 27 percent rise from the previous year, according to government data.Most are from poor rural families who are lured to cities by traffickers who promise good jobs, but then sell them into slavery as domestic workers, to work in small manufacturing units, farming or pushed into sexual slavery in brothels.In many cases, they are not paid or are held in debt bondage. Some are found, but many remain missing.Figures from the National Crime Records Bureau also show that almost 15,000 children were victims of sexual violence such as rape, molestation and exploitation for pornography in 2015 – up 67 percent from the previous year.But these figures are just the tip of the iceberg in socially conservative India, say activists, where fear of being blamed, shamed or stigmatised means victims and their families often keep quiet and do not report the abuses they face.BREAKING THE SILENCESatyarthi, whose charity Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) has rescued 80,000 enslaved children, said the march was part of a three-year campaign to spread public awareness and push for stronger policies on child protection.The march participants will travel around 11,000 km (7,000) miles) and cover 22 of India’s 29 states. They will stop in towns and villages, visit schools and colleges and hold events with local officials, police, religious and community leaders.Monday’s kick-off saw thousands of children from remote areas across the country travelling to Kanyakumari to participate in the event. They chanted slogans and waved banners calling for an end of child slavery and child sexual abuse.”I am here today as I want to help protect other children like me,” said Ruby Kumari, 14, a pony-tailed schoolgirl from the district of Koderma in India’s eastern Jharkhand state.”We want to tell people that we are the future of this country and we want a safe environment for all children. They should be able to go to good schools and not sent to work.”The event also saw the participation of parents and their children who are survivors of sexual abuse and child labour.Thirty-five-year-old Moti, whose two teen daughters were raped by a family friend in the northern state of Punjab for years before the crime was discovered, said he hoped the march would help parents understand the dangers faced by children.”I had no idea that this was happening to my daughters. I trusted this man and he did this to my daughters,” said Moti, as he sat amongst the crowds, wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with #MakeIndiaSafe printed on the back.”If there had been marches like this before, perhaps I would have known better and I could have saved them. Now I am here to take part in his march so that it doesn’t happen to other children and parents won’t have to go through what I did.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi today called for making India a ‘child-friendly country’. “I had personally requested the Prime Minister to work towards this goal. The government should prioritise the issues of children, it should allot more money,” he said. “Despite the country having 41 per cent of its population below 18 years of age, low spending for their education was paradoxical. “Is it not also a paradox that while the economic recession could not affect India on one hand, crores of our children do not go to school on the other?” Satyarthi, who was awarded the ‘P C Chandra Puraskaar 2017’ for his work, wondered. Regretting that “India’s daughters are not safe,” he said, “Our girls are not safe in the land of Kali, Saraswati and Durga.” “Our daughters are being sexually abused, sometimes by their own relatives and we need to change that situation,” the ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ founder, who had been working to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries, observed. Satyarthi said that the state, corporate sector and civil society would have to work in tandem to make a safer environment for children in the country. “The earlier school of thinking, that only the state could ensure development and economic security, is now old. Those days are gone in the last two decades. My experience while working with the UN and multilateral agencies tells me two major actors have emerged now, one of them being the civil society,” Satyarthi told a press meet here. “Now the civil society does not solely mean charities running projects or donors. Instead, it has become a strong partner in social development. The second actor is corporate sector, which has also emerged as a strong power of transformation. Their power has increased manifold,” Satyarthi said. “Now the state, corporate and civil society have to work hand in hand, they have to build trust to meet the aspirations of millions of children, in the country and elsewhere,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A replica of the Nobel Peace Prize and its citation awarded to child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi were among the valuables stolen from his southeast Delhi residence in his absence today. In a statement, Satyarthi, who along with his wife is currently in Panama on the invitation of its President, implored the people involved in the early morning act to understand the significance of the award and not get carried away by its monetary value. Satyarthi had presented his Nobel Peace Prize medal to President Pranab Mukherjee in January, 2015. The original medal has been preserved and is now on display at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum, his office said. Police said the theft came to light when Rakesh Sengar of Satyarthi’s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan went to take his car from the activist’s Kalkaji residence Aravalli apartment around 9 AM. “I had gone there around 9 AM. I saw the dhobi (washerman) knocking the door which was surprisingly open. When I entered the flat, I found things scattered all over (in Satyarthi’s bedroom). The locker was also broken. “The replica of the nobel, which is as good as the original, and the citation are missing along with a host of other mementos from around the world and some jewellery. A similar theft had occurred in BBA’s Kalkaji office in 2010,” Sengar said. Police said it appears that the burglars had come with an intention only to rob jewellery as the other expensive items were left untouched. They must have mistook the replica as a jewellery item, a senior officer said. “The Nobel Prize citation and the replica were kept in jewellery boxes and we suspect that the burglars took them away thinking it to be jewels. It’s a specific modus operandi,” said the officer. Satyarthi’s son, Bhuvan Ribhu, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and the national secretary of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, said, “Sengar informed me about the incident. It appeared that they were looking for something specific. They also took some ancestral jewellery. For someone who continues to stay in a DDA flat, the news was shattering. Satyarthi is returning (to the country) on the 10th,” he said. After police were informed about the alleged theft of the Nobel Prize replica, teams from Forensic Science Laboratory, dog squads and district crime unit inspected the spot and collected fingerprints. Police said all the lockers of the master bedroom have been broken and it is suspected that the burglary took place in the wee hours today. The child rights activist won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He shared the prize with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai. Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize medal had been stolen in 2004 from Visva Bharati University’s museum in Santiniketan in West Bengal, which is yet to be recovered. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nobel Laureate and social activist Kailash Satyarthi?s office on Tuesday clarified that the nobel certificate has been stolen and not the award as the former had dedicated it to the nation. Satyarthi?s office told ANI that the medal is in Rashtrapati Bhawan. Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Satyarthi?s son Bhuvan Ribhu lodged a complaint this morning when he found the front gate broken of his father’s Aravali apartment house in Alaknanda. The nobel laureate was not given any security and was living in a two-room DDA flat. Sathyarthi is currently abroad and will be returning back to Delhi on February 9. The theft took place at Satyarthi’s residence last night. Many important and valuable things including his nobel certificate were found to be stolen. Satyarthi is a renowned Indian child rights activist and the winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He is the founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an organization dedicated towards the eradication of child labor and rehabilitation of the rescued former child workers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)