Chennai: No voice is greater than the voice of youth, said noted child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on SRM Kattankulathur campus Monday.
Speaking to students on 'Youth and compassion' , he said, “I have worked with various NGOs, government officials and activists in over 142 countries. This has taught me a very important lesson: No voice is greater than the voice of youth.” His remarks evoked thunderous applause from students.
“All the revolutions in the history of the world started with the spark of compassion. And notably, all these revolutions had young people in the forefront,” he said encouraging students to be compassionate and kind.
Narrating his story he recalled how he gave up a lucrative career in engineering to follow his heart. “When I decided to quit my job my friends and family were shocked. They did not think it would be possible to solve deep-rooted problems in society. But I refused to accept it then and I refuse to accept it now, “ he said adding that the incidence of child labour going down from 246 million to 168 million is a testimony to the fact that changes are possible.
Highlighting the role of youth in bringing about a change in the world, he said,” Have the courage to question and the passion to find answers to them. This is how science came about. This is how a change will come about.”
He also declared his plans to launch ' 100 million for 100 million', a campaign aimed to mobilise 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world in the campus. This would be the Foundation's third office after London and Delhi
In response to this, SRM Institute of Science and Technology president Dr P. Satyanarayanan said SRM Institute of Science and Technology would open a Centre of Child Rights in association with the Dr Satyarthi Foundation making the university the first educational entity in the country to do so.
He later interacted with school students at the event and advised them to dream big but stay honest during their pursuits. He also clicked selfies with the students after the event. Vice-Chancellor Dr Sandeep Sancheti, PRO Vice-Chancellor Dr T.P. Ganesan and Dr R. Balasubramanian, Prof. N. Sethuraman were also present at the event.
Kailash Satyrathi is the founder of ' Bachpan Bachao Andolan' (save childhood movement) through which he has liberated 88,000 children from trafficking, child labour and exploitation.
He was also responsible for the landmark 'ILO convention 182',(1999) which paved way for the abolition of some of the worst forms of child labour. In 2014, he became the first Indian to receive the Nobel peace prize.