ANANTAPUR: Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi called upon politicians and bureaucrats to help in building confidence among the parents about the security of children across the country.
"I urge all ministers, MPs, MLAs, collectors, SPs and elected politicians and bureaucrats, not just in Andhra Pradesh but across India, to go back to their schools at least once - even if it is for one hour - not as a VIP but as an ordinary citizens, as a father, brother, mother and sister. It will help restore confidence among parents in ensuring safety of children", he observed.
As part of his Bharath Yatra to create awareness of child trafficking and sexual abuse, he entered Andhra Pradesh from Karntaka capital on Monday where he was accorded a grand welcome at Kodikonda in Chilamathur mandal in the district. Over 10,000 youth, students and working professionals welcomed the Nobel laureate.
Mr Satyarthi pledged to stand with children in his relentless fight for their rights. The yatra is part of a three-year campaign against child rape and sexual abuse which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of the cases, strengthening institutional response including medical health and compensations.
The march was received by ministers Paritala Sunithae, Kalava Srinivasulu, Devinani Umamaheshwara Rao and legislators and officials as part of an official welcome by the state government. The Noble laureate was joined in the walkathon for over a kilometer from Karnataka borders by the welcome-party. Later, he interacted with students near the Kodikonda check post.
Mr Satyarthi said, "Andhra Pradesh is the land where Sun rises. I want the Sun to rise to dispel the darkness of fear, perversion and vulgarity, which has become not just a heinous crime but a moral epidemic in the form of child sexual abuse in India and in AP."
He stressed the seriousness of child sexual abuse and trafficking and the need to weed out them out. Mr Satyarthi thanked chief minister and the state government and those who stood by the genuine cause.
He observed that child rape and sexual abuse have become a moral epidemic haunting the nation. "We can no longer remain silent spectators. Our silence is breeding more violence. That is why the Bharat Yatra is the beginning of an all-out war on rape, abuse and trafficking. We hereby declare that we refuse to let victims and their families live in fear while the rapists roam free and fearless. I refuse to accept that eight children go missing and two are raped every hour. Each time a single child is in danger, India is in danger. Bharat Yatra is to make India safe again for our children."
Mr Satyarthi will be received by the chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at Kurnool as the yatra would pass into Telangana on Tuesday.