Srinagar: Kailash Satyarthi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for waging a peaceful struggle to protect children from being exploited as labour, assured them on Monday that he would make all efforts to ensure their safety.
He urged the children in Jammu and Kashmir to stay away from violence, and said “together, we will win this battle”.
Without naming separatists and militants active in the Valley, he asked them not use children to achieve their goals.
“Children…can achieve everything with education. They are your children and our children too,” he said.
Mr Satyarthi is on a Bharat Yatra to spread awareness about crimes against children. Last week, he held several programmes in Uttar Pradesh. He had begun his Yatra from Kanyakumari.
In Srinagar, he addressed students drawn from various schools. “I will knock the doors of governments in Delhi and in Srinagar. Tell them to allow children to study and rise as high as they can,” he said at the gathering.
“I will make appeals and prayers for you and need be, I will struggle too, provided you stay away from violence.”
Mr Satyarthi was born in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh. After completing an electrical engineering degree, he worked as a teacher. In 1980, he left teaching and founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions.
He said nearly nine lakh people have taken the pledge to fight child abuse. “Our target was 10 lakh but we are going to cross 12 lakh. One crore people have taken the pledge online,” he said.