Kailash Sharma (Kailash Satyarthi) was born on 11th of january 1954 in the Vidisha district of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. His father name is Sh. Ramprasad Sharma and mother name is Smt. Chironji.Even as a child Kailash was a very compassionate individual. He noticed that some children did not go to school like he did and instead worked under harsh conditions to earn money, so he decided to do something about it. He asked his classmates to donate textbooks and money to the underprivileged so that the poor kids too got a chance to study.After completing an electrical engineering degree, he worked as a teacher in the area. In 1980, he left teaching and founded the organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which has freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions. He has also been active in a wide range of other organizations working against child labor and for children rights to education.He lives in New Delhi, India. His family includes his wife, a son, daughter-in-law, a grandson, daughter and a son-in-law. He has been described as an excellent cook.
He changed his surname to Satyarthi. The name change followed an incident where he, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi leadership in the Indian Independence Movement and his own town leaders speaking out against the Indian caste system, decided to organize a dinner for the upper caste residents with food cooked by low-caste. When the leaders of the town failed to show up to the dinner, Satyarthi went back to his house depressed, to find that elderly upper caste people were threatening to outcaste his family.Additionally, kailash should organize a feast for 101 priests, wash their feet and drink that water. Satyarthi refused to observe with their unreasonable demands. However, Satyarthi was still punished, he was locked from his home kitchen and dining room and his household goods were separated. Angry at the attempt to outcaste him, Satyarthi decided to outcaste the entire caste system by rejecting his surname as most Indian surnames reflect the caste of a family, and changing it to Satyarthi.
After his graduation he began working as an engineer. A gainful career lay ahead of him but this young man heart was not in an engineering job. He wanted to help people, especially the poor children who worked as bonded labourers and thus he quit his job.In 1980, after he gave up his career as an engineer and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Liberation Front, he also founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) that year.Bachpan Bachao Andolan was the first organization of its kind in India which worked to inform the society about the madcap evil of child labour and highlighted the importance of rescuing these children and providing them the chance to live a normal and healthy life.The success of the BBA led to the creation of the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) in 1989. SACCS has till date liberated several thousands of child labourers working in different industries.
Kailash Satyarthi realized that the work did not end with the rescue, these children needed to be rehabilitated so that they could live a normal life. Thus the Bal Ashram was formed in Rajasthan where the newly-rescued children are taught basic skills.In 1998, he led the Global march against child labour. The march was a grassroot movement to motivate individuals and organizations to do their bit in the fight against child labour. Several international organizations supported this march.Kailash has served as a member of the UNESCO Education for All and has addressed the U.N. General Assembly, International Labour Conference, and U.N. Human Rights Commission.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan was founded by Kailash Satyarthi in 1980 as a mass movement to create a child friendly society where all children are free from exclusion and exploitation and receive free education.The movement has engaged itself in identifying, liberating, rehabilitating and educating children in slavery through direct intervention, community participation, partnerships and coalitions, promoting ethics in trade, unionizing workers, running campaigns on issues such as education, trafficking, forced labour, ethical trade, and by building child friendly villages.
Satyarthi established GoodWeave International (formerly known as Rugmark) a network of non-profit organizations dedicated to ending illegal child labour in the rug making industry which provided the first voluntary labelling, monitoring and certification system of rugs manufactured without the use of child labour in South Asia. This latter organisation operated a campaign in Europe and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the intent of raising consumer awareness of the issues relating to the accountability of global corporations with regard to socially responsible consumerism and trade. Rugmark International re-branded the certification program and introduced the GoodWeave label in 2009. The organization was also re-branded to GoodWeave International. Today the international network comprises producing country offices in India, Nepal and Afghanistan; and consumer country programs in the US, UK, and Germany.
The Kailash Satyarthi Children Foundation, established in 2015 by Satyarthi to achieve a child friendly world, operates with an integrated approach towards the problems of the children. Spreading awareness, policy advocacy and capacity building are the foundation blocks of the KSCF approach. A diverse team of experts with keen interest in issues of child rights, internal expertise and strong stakeholder collaboration are the strengths and drivers of the organisation.A crucial ingredient of the KSCF philosophy is the participation of people, in bringing about the change they deserve. The involvement of people is achieved through our Campaigns and Programmes, where people are made aware about the issues faced by the society and are endowed with solutions that work efficiently. The KSCF Institute looks after the Policy Building and Strengthening process, with its team of experts adept at designing solutions to the problems of people.
The Bharat Yatra, was launched by KSCF to spread awareness about child trafficking and sexual abuse. Launched in Kanyakumari on September 11, 2017 by Kailash Satyarthi, this campaign marched through seven routes covering 24 Indian states and Union Territories, and over 12,000 km. The campaign was aimed at starting a social dialogue about child sexual abuse and child trafficking, hitherto taboo issues in India, in order to protect children vulnerable within their homes, communities, schools.The campaign collaborated with 5000 civil society organisations, more than 60 Indian faith leaders, 500 Indian political leaders, 600 local, state and national bodies of the Indian government, 300 members of the Indian judiciary, and 2,50,00 educational institutions across India.Bharat Yatra saw the participation of more than 10,00,000 marchers over 35 days.
Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk shows, advocacy and awareness films.In September 2017 India Times listed Satyarthi as one of the 11 Human Rights Activists Whose Life Mission Is To Provide Others With A Dignified Life Satyarthi has been awarded the following national and international honours:
1993: Elected Ashoka Fellow (US)
1994: The Aachener International Peace Award (Germany)
1995: The Trumpeter Award (US)
1995: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (US)
1998: Golden Flag Award (Netherlands)
1999: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (Germany)
2002: Wallenberg Medal, awarded by the University of Michigan
2006: Freedom Award (US)
2007: recognized in the list of Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavery by the US State Department
2007: Gold medal of the Italian Senate (2007)
2008: Alfonso Comin International Award (Spain)
2009: Defenders of Democracy Award (US)
2014: Nobel Peace Prize
2015: Honorary Doctorate by Amity University, Gurgaon
2015: Harvard`s University Award `Humanitarian of the Year`
2017: P.C Chandra Puraskaar
2018: Personality of the Decade by Dainik Prayukti