New Delhi: Kailash Satyarthi, who on Friday shared the Nobel Peace Prize honours for 2014 with Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, says he was extremely delighted.
This is the recognition of our fight for child rights, said 60-year-old Satyarthi, who runs an NGO that has been in the forefront of rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking.
Thanking Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognising the plight of millions of children who are suffering in this modern age, Satyarthi said the honour is for all the citizens of India.
“I will continue my work for welfare of children,” added Satyarthi.
"I was born after the death of Mahatma Gandhi. If the prize had gone to Mahatma Gandhi before me I would have been more honoured. I am really honoured. This award is for all the citizens of the country," he said.
Resolving to continue his fight to protect child rights in India, Satyarthi, whose organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan, has been in the forefront of rescuing children from forced labour and trafficking, said he was happy that the issue has received global attention.
"This is not about simply poverty and rights of children. It is more than that. The fight has to continue. We are happy that the issue has been recognised globally now. I will continue my work."
The child rights activist further expressed hope that the award will give strength to the struggle of millions of children working as labourers.
"This award is a dedication to all those people and activists fighting for the cause of children. I hope this will give strength to the struggle of children working as labourers," Satyarthi told IANS.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulated Satyarthi, saying "it is day of great pride" for his state and the country.
It is day of great pride for MP and India. Congratulations to Shri Kailash Satyarthi born in Vidisha for winning Nobel Peace Prize.
— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) October 10, 2014
Satyarthi, who runs NGO Bachpan Bachao Aandolan (Save Childhood Movement), has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel committee said while announcing the names of the laureates.
The Bachpan Bachao Andolan was established in the year 1983 by Satyarthi, who was an electrical engineer before becoming an activist.
The NGO has helped authorities in Delhi to conduct hundreds of raids to rescue child labourers.
After Lok Sabha election results were announced, Satyarthi had tweeted about Narendra Modi: "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."