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BW Businessworld

'There Is A Moral Pressure On Me To Lend The Loudest Voice To Causes'

In an exclusive interview to Businessworld, Satyarthi also said in detail about the unspent CSR that amounts to Rs 10,000 crore money that the corporate should be made to spend on such causes by the government

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has appealed to the prime minister of India to prioritise children and ensure they are not trafficked, forced into marriage or put into bonded labour as the country reels from its worst drought in decades. He also wants the government to come up with a child centric policy during such times of emergency. In an open letter to Narendra Modi, the child rights activist urged him to declare the drought a national emergency, saying that the lives of more than 160 million children were at stake. In an exclusive interview to BW Businessworld, Satyarthi also said in detail about the unspent CSR that amounts to Rs 10,000 crore money that the corporates should be made to spend on such causes by the government.

Have you reached out to the corporates on the unspent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) money, appealing to spend in the drought stricken areas?

In the letter itself, I have urged to route the unspent CSR fund worth Rs.10,000 crore for drought relief. I have also demanded to declare drought as a national emergency and to control the exploitation of children due to drought. Owing to this drought and the ongoing water crisis, children are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Prime Minister should take the lead to meet the corporates by reaching out to them through the industry bodies. On this issue, I would like to meet the Prime Minister as he himself loves children whenever the chance maybe, hopefully sooner than later.

Winning a Nobel Prize laureate has pressure on to fight for causes at the global level and not just at a national level. How are you leveraged and burdened with this responsibility?
This is the first time Nobel Prize has been attributed to this cause. For the first time the issues of the most deprived, neglected and exploited children has been recognized at the top level, that is very important. And of course that brings a tremendous amount of pressure on me to give the loudest possible voice for the deprived children. The first thing I did, which was on going exercise but the Nobel prize it has given me an additional edge or arm to demanding the international community for the eradication of child labour and children development in the next 15 years. Nobel Prize gave me the opportunity to meet the world leaders, UN head and we succeeded in achieving it. This resulted violence against children, trafficking were all included in STG our first success. We have to include youth in this fight, about 100 million are victims and sufferers of child labour and other forms of violence but on the hand 100 million are well off. So, this would be 100 million helping and fighting the cause of the other 100 million. We are activating this mostly through the help of social media which is the most important medium in today's world.

Shri Shri Ravi Shankar just commented that Malala Yousafzai did not do anything to deserve a Nobel prize?

Malala is my daughter and I call her beti, Shri Ravi Shankar ji on the other hand is a respected individual of this country and he has a right to his opinion and views and I have nothing to comment on that, so (chuckle) this is my answer.