Diwali arrives ‘early’ in Nobel laureate’s birthplace

Saturday, Oct 11, 2014,17:49 IST By metrovaartha A A A

The kin of Nobel laureate child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi — who hails from this district headquarters Vidisha, in Madhya Pradesh– as well as locals are jubilant beyond belief over his being chosen for the Peace Prize.
His family still resides within a dwelling in the narrow and otherwise nondescript Veer Haqeeqat road of this historic town’s old Kile Andar area where the simple-mannered Satyarthi, youngest of four brothers, spent his childhood and later earned an electrical engineering degree from a local college.
However, he was hard on those employing child labourers and commenced his work of saving childhood here. Despite economic hardship, since the beginning Mr Satyarthi always helped kids in every way, borrowed books from a library for his academics and even studied under streetlights.
Though the Nobel laureate was not in town, Kile Andar transformed into a beehive of activity yesterday afternoon, people thronged his ancestral abode, sweets were distributed and fireworks exploded. Tears of joy welled up in the eyes of Mr Satyarthi’s elder sibling’s wife Ratidevi Sharma.
He was always compassionate towards child beggars, fed them and arranged for notebooks and books. On several occasions, family members got vexed over his habits and once made him stand in the sun as punishment. However, he never strayed from his objective, she told UNI.
The house does not appear to have undergone much change over the years. Mr Satyarthi’s father worked in the Police Department. The Nobel laureate’s elder brother Jagmohan Sharma — who manages a shop here — said, He studied in different schools.
After becoming an engineer, Mr Satyarthi taught at the same institution for a couple of years but resigned after a dispute with the management and left for Delhi. In 1980, he launched a campaign for stamping out the evil of ‘slavery’. According to an estimate, Mr Satyarthi has rehabilitated in excess of 83,000 child labourers through the Bachpan Bachao Andolan. He has a sister and the eldest sibling is no more.