Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
BY SHANTAM SAHAI
A just man and father to thousands of children he saved, Kailash Satyarthi is a well-known name. He is a children’s rights activist and has liberated more than 86,000 children in India from child labour, slavery, and trafficking. He was among Fortune magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ in 2015. Recently he led a nationwide march, known as the Bharat Yatra, in India. The march covered 12,000 km in 35 days, the objective was to spread awareness about child sexual abuse and trafficking.
Till a few years ago, Syria was an educated, progressive and middle-income country. Today violent extremism has destroyed a generation, resulting in millions being forced to seek refuge and 7 million displaced internally. This has to stop now.
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) January 29, 2018
Kailash Satyarthi (born Kailash Sharma), a Nobel prize recipient and founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, changed his surname after a life-changing event. He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Harijan movement, hence, he decided to organize a dinner for the upper-caste people with food cooked by the lower-caste or ‘untouchable’ people.
The upper-caste men failed to show up. While Kailash Satyarthi went back to his house, he found the elderly of the upper-caste threatening to outcaste his family. He was supposed to take a holy trip to river Ganga, and also organize a feast for 101 priests, wash their feet and drink that water- that’s if he wished his family not to be outcasted from the community.
He refused to comply. In punishment, he was barred from entering the home kitchen and dining room, also his utensils were separated. In return, he outcasted the caste system by rejecting his surname, which reflected the caste of the family. He changed his surname to Satyarthi, which means seeker of truth.
However, this is not it. There’s another incident which led Kailash Satyarthi to question ‘why are some children born to work at the cost of their childhood and freedom and education and dreams?’. This incident is the foundation of all his work against child labor. In his initial school days, he had noticed a boy of his age mending shoes with his father (a cobbler) outside his school premises. He asked his teacher, why isn’t that boy in school like him? He was denied the answer. Satyarthi then went to his headmaster and asked the same question, his headmaster informed him that the cobbler was poor therefore he could not send his son to school and that it was perfectly normal for poor children to work in order to survive.
He was still unsatisfied with the answer. Hence, he went to the cobbler himself. The cobbler told him “some children are born to work”. This was beginning of his questions against the so-called ‘facts of life’.
Corporates can lead the charge to end modern slavery. They can transform into change makers.The eradication of modern slavery is possible but we must march together with a positive mindset. Today with @TR_Foundation at @Davos #WEF18
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) January 25, 2018
Here are some remarkable facts about Kailash Satyarthi:
1. Born in January 1954, in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, Kailash Satyarthi holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a post graduate diploma, but he gave up his career to start a movement called ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).
2. Bachpan Bachao Andolan – the organization he started over three decades ago – today is leading the crusade to eradicate child labour and trafficking. The organization has over 80,000 members and 750 organizations associated with it, together which support and act for the protection of child rights.
3. Being a schoolboy, it pained young Kailash to see how most of the others kids around him were not fortunate enough to attend a school and had to work as labourers at that tender age. Resolute to change the situation, Kailash started a football club, the fees for which went to support the education of poor and underprivileged children.
4. Soon after the completion of his education, for a brief period, Kailash Satyarthi took up teaching engineering in Bhopal. However, he left his teaching job to be a catalyst for social change. His first step was to start a ‘book club’ where he grouped donations & school textbooks for the needy children.
5. Kailash Satyarthi started his work for children’s rights in 1980, as the General Secretary of ‘Bonded Labor Liberation Front’. It is an organization working to free bonded labourers.
6. Initiating his altruist activities, Satyarthi, with help from other NGOs and activists, started staging raids on factories and plants and industries, that were forcing children to work as bonded labourers. In 1983, he started the Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
7. Initiated and implemented at the grassroots’ level, Satyarthi’s BBA has saved over 83,000 children forced in labour and trafficking in last three decades, and the organization has also channelized these underprivileged children through various rehabilitation programs.
8. Satyarthi has left behind no channel to propagate his dream of child-labour-free and child-friendly society. He has used social media, has persuaded politicians, lobbying when needed, and even taken legal routes when needed, knocking the doors of the Human Rights’ Commission as well as of the Supreme Court.
9. During the 1990s, Satyarthi joined the International Centre on Child Labour & Education – an international group of NGOs, activists, teachers, and corporates, strengthening his fight against forced labour and child trafficking. He also chaired the Global March Against Child Labour across 60 countries. Thousands of children participated in this Global March that concluded in Geneva.
Today after #20YearsofGlobalMarch we celebrate the movement towards a more child-friendly world. The quest for freedom of the marchers of Global March Against Child Labour helped reduce global child labour from 260m to 152m overtime. Join me to #EndChildLabour pic.twitter.com/PVcP7Y4rBV
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) January 17, 2018
10. It was there in Geneva where the conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was underway and the efforts of Satyarthi and other global activists led the ILO to approve the Concord to recognize and protect children from the worst form of child labour.
11. Kailash Satyarthi even pioneered consumer awareness programs and schemes in European and American nations. Making the populations aware that South-Asian products had zero child labour involved in it, he shaped up ‘RugMark’, a scheme to certify carpets and rugs that have been made without any child labour.
12. The Right to Education Act is a result of a countrywide movement to make primary education a right. Kailash Satyarthi was one of the leaders in the movement.
13. In the ‘model villages’ project of BBA, more than 350 villages were transformed. A healthy environment was ensured for children, also the project also made sure that children from all these villages attended schools and prevented practices like child marriage and girl-dropout.
14. Soon after the 16th Lok Sabha elections’ results, this is what he tweeted to his about 100 followers. Needless to say, that follower count is now in thousands.
A tea-boy dares his detractors by becoming the PM of India. Now it’s his turn to ensure that no child is forced to become a child labourer.
— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) May 20, 2014
15. The campaigner for justice, Satyarthi has been a subject of various documentaries, TV shows, and even films, and has been lauded globally. He has also received the Freedom Award, Defender of Democracy Award by the United States and the Medal of the Italian Senate. Hence it astonishes that he has never been awarded by the Government of India.
16. Being the 8th Indian Nobel laureate, he is also the first Indian born person to win the peace prize. He would be sharing the $1.25 million prize money with Pakistan’s Malala Yousufzai, the young girl popularly known as the activist for girls’ education in Pakistan.
London (CNN)- At five o'clock in the morning, the esteemed 86-year-old astrophysicist Jim Peebles was woken suddenly by the telephone ringing."In previous experience, the only phone calls at that time of night are bad news," he said. This one was great news. "The opening sentence from the caller was: 'The Nobel committee has voted to award you the Nobel Prize in Physics. Do you accept?'" Peebles recalled. The wording threw him. Who wouldn't accept a Nobel Prize? "You know the Bob Dylan fiasco?" he said during a phone interview with CNN. "That might have put the wind up them."The "fiasco" Peebles mentions refers to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was controversially given to an utterly unimpressed Dylan.Aside from being ever-presents on college campuses in the 1960s, little connects Peebles, an expert in theoretical cosmology, with Dylan. But one of the starkest contrasts might lie in their reactions to winning a Nobel -- and the songwriter is far from the only laureate whose crowning turned out to be an awkward affair.
The five committees are notoriously secretive, fiercely shielding their choices from the outside world -- including the laureates themselves, who are told of their victories just minutes before they are announced to the public.
Jim Peebles speaking at the Nobel Prize banquet in 2019 Image credit: CNN
That tight-lipped mantra can lead to some heartening surprises, as it did for Benjamin List -- the co-winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry -- who was having coffee with his wife when he received the news.
"Sweden appears on my phone, and I look at her, she looks at me and I run out of the coffee shop to the street ... you know, that was amazing. It was very special. I will never forget," he told reporters on Wednesday after his victory was announced.It can also be far less celebratory. "I was lying in bed, and my wife woke up and heard my phone buzzing. And she yelled at me because my phone was waking her up," David MacMillan, who shared the prize with List, told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday."100% [I] missed the call. Classic Scottish person. I [didn't] believe this is happening, so I went back to bed," he added -- likely the most relatable sentence ever uttered by an expert in chiral imidazolidinone catalysts.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
And for some, the sudden ascension to Nobel laureate is an unwanted intrusion altogether. "Oh Christ," British-Zimbabwean author Doris Lessing said when reporters arrived outside her house to inform her she had won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. "I'm sure you'd like some uplifting remarks of some kind. "It's a wonderful thing," Reinhard Genzel, an astrophysicist who won last year's Nobel Prize in Physics, told CNN of his win and the months since. "But it's a chore as well."
What it's like to win a Nobel PrizeFew Nobel winners can honestly say their lives weren't changed when they received the phone call.As long as they believe it, that is. "These days you get these cold calls, and I thought this is another one of them," Abdulrazak Gurnah, the winner of this year's literature prize, told the BBC on Thursday."This guy said, 'Hello, you have won the Nobel Prize for Literature,' And I said, 'come on, get out of here. Leave me alone,'" Gurnah said. "He talked me out of that, and gradually persuaded me."Winners often can't be contacted at all, leaving them to find out about their wins from the news, their family, or even their next-door neighbors.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Ressa and Muratov Image source: CNNEconomist Paul Milgrom was woken in the middle of the night in California by his colleague Robert Wilson banging on his front door. "Paul, it's Bob Wilson. You've won the Nobel Prize," he shouted into the intercom. "Yeah, I have? Wow," an utterly confused Milgrom responded, in an exchange captured by a doorbell camera.
Genzel's phone call came while he was in a Zoom meeting with colleagues last October. "I had absolutely no inkling," he said. "I thought, my God ... obviously this is a fantasy."
The committee's secretary told him he "couldn't say anything for 15 or 20 minutes," so Genzel tried his best to keep the news to himself. "I walked over to our meeting room ... (my colleagues) told me afterwards I was stumbling in there, slightly gazed, telling them to switch on the TV," he said.Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel winner at 17, was midway through a chemistry lesson at a school in Birmingham, England, when a teacher interrupted to tell her she had won, she told Reuters.She later told Vogue that she modestly left the achievement off her university applications, because she "felt a bit embarrassed." But there are occasions, too, where the winner isn't quite as thrilled as the Nobel committee might imagine.
Dylan and Ernest Hemingway both skipped the Nobels' annual banquet; the latter made a point of telling the Swedish Academy that he had "no facility for speech making and no command of oratory." But arguably it was Lessing who had the most memorable reaction. She learned of her win as she stepped out of a taxi on the way back from the grocery store. "Have you heard the news? You've won the Nobel Prize for Literature!" an enthusiastic reporter told her. Her eyes rolled back in her head before the journalist had even finished his sentence. Lessing -- accompanied by a male acquaintance who stood next to her, bemused, his arm in a sling and a single artichoke in his hand -- was clearly more interested in collecting her shopping than talking to the world's media.
Also read: Abdulrazak Gurnah- The New Nobel Laureate
Asked how she felt, she expressed little enthusiasm: "Look, I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one."
"Am I supposed to get excited, or elated, or what?" she remarked. "One can't get more excited than one gets, you know?"
'I was treated like a rock star'
As soon as Genzel's win was announced last year, his face was on televisions around the world. The announcement of a Nobel Prize winner makes the front pages of newspapers and websites almost everywhere, throwing a sudden spotlight on little-known scientists and their complex research. "Once the announcement is made, you lose your identity within half an hour," Genzel said. "The telephone rings all the time. "Peebles had a similar experience just minutes after his early morning phone call. "When I returned to bed my wife said, 'What was that about?' I said 'Nobel Prize,' and she said: Oh God." Within minutes, the couple had a photographer outside their door. Genzel suddenly found himself answering questions about politics on late-night German TV, angering some of his friends with his responses. Peebles, meanwhile, spent much of the day looking through emails from every corner of the world: "Please come visit us, please read my manuscript..."
Reinhard Genzel posing with his medal Image source: CNN
"It's one thing to say that the Nobel Prizes attract attention. It's another to experience it," he said. Sometimes, personal relationships change. "There is of course a lot of envy, from some colleagues -- many people who are close to me in the same field might very well say, 'Why did he get it?'" said Genzel. But before the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered plans for two years in a row, winners were also treated to a gala in Stockholm. "I was treated like a rock star ... I experienced what I expect rock stars to experience," Peebles said of his banquet in 2019. "It's a wonderful honor." "My attache had an almost endless list of things to do," he added. "'Now you must meet these influential people. Now you must go to a news conference. Now we will have dinner with some important people. And on and on.' "Genzel missed out on the festivities last year, but he enjoyed a low-key affair in Germany. "The governor of Bavaria offered us his residence, (and) we had a fairly nice event with the Swedish ambassador," he said. Two years on, CNN asked Peebles whether his email inbox has finally receded to pre-Nobel volumes. "I'd have to look at the data on that," he responded, ever the empiricist. But for both men and many other laureates, the most exciting part of the Nobel experience is simply that it gets people talking about science and culture.
"I find it almost a necessity to tell the public at large that there is truth, there is absolute truth," Genzel said. "What I hope is understood is the importance of the Nobel Prize in making people aware of the importance of curiosity-driven science or arts," he said. "I think it must be unique."
(This article is originally written by Bob Picheta)
Keywords: Nobel Prize, Reactions, Laureates
Married Hindu women are recognised by a red streak of vermillion in the middle of their foreheads. This is traditionally called 'sindoor', which is derived from the Sanskrit word sindura, meaning 'red lead.'. Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum.
Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum. Image source: Photo by Gayathri Malhotra on Unsplash
The origin of the practise of wearing sindoor is ambiguous, but historical records from the Harappan civilisation show that women wore sindoor as a sign of being married. Today's generation considers the wearing of sindoor an outdated and patriarchal ritual. However, there is still a large population of women who uphold the ritual of adorning their foreheads with vermilion every day.
Sindoor implies the longevity of a woman's marriage to her husband in the Hindu tradition. The longer the streak, the longer her husband's life is believed to be. Women wear it for the first time on their wedding day, when the husband applies it during the ceremony. As long as he remains alive, the red streak that fills the woman's maang, or hair partition, symbolises her fruitful married life.
When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. Image credit: Photo by Amish Thakkar on Unsplash
The components of the red powder are believed to improve the sexual energy of the woman. When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. The mixture that she wears on her head controls her blood pressure and activates her sexual drive.
These days, feminists do not take very lightly to the practice of wearing sindoor, as they view it as a sign of patriarchal dominance. They do not like being branded as 'belonging to a man'. They prefer to wear it as a style statement because it enhances beauty. Fashion designers have recently commissioned models to sport sindoor on the runway. New age feminists are making bids to allow widows and single women to adorn their foreheads with the vermilion streak.
Keywords: Sindoor, Marriage, Symbol, Women, Patriarchy
Actress Urvashi Rautela has recently announced the name of her next film which is titled 'Dil Hai Gray'. It's a Hindi remake of Tamil film 'Thiruttu Payale 2'. Urvashi Rautela will be seen alongside Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi.
Urvashi shares: "I am excited to announce the title of my next film 'Dil Hai Gray' on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami. The film is very close to my heart and it was lovely working with director Susi Ganeshan sir, producer M Ramesh Reddy sir, and my co-stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi. "
"The film has created a massive response in the south industry and I am very positive about the story that it will be also be loved by the audience here. I hope my fans would bless us with their love and support. Super excited to watch my film on the big screen after a long time," she concludes. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: urvashi rautela, movies, bollywood, south, remake, film