India Nobel winner launches march for abused children

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Indian Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi yesterday started a cross-country march aimed at forcing authorities to clamp down on widespread sexual abuse and trafficking of vulnerable children.

Satyarthi and scores of supporters embarked on the “India March” at Kanyakumari on the country’s southernmost tip. He hopes to get one million people involved in various stages of the march to New Delhi.

“If our children are not safe in India, if our children are not safe in schools, then we have to change it,” 63-year-old Satyarthi told NDTV television.

“We cannot just wait and watch. One cannot be a silent spectator,” he said, calling child sexual abuse a “growing menace, a growing epidemic”.

The march will finish in New Delhi on October 16 after he and his supporters travel across all 29 states and seven union territories, covering 11,000 kilometres.

This file photo taken on July 21, 2017 shows Nobel laureate and human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi speaking during the inaugural event of the Dr BR Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in Bangalore. – AFP