New Delhi: Joined by a host of Nobel laureates and world leaders at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday launched "100 Million for 100 Million" campaign that strives to change the future of millions of children worldwide.
Conceptualised by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the campaign was flagged off by Mukherjee in the presence of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Nobel laureates Tawakkol Karman and Leymah Gbowee, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo.
"Despite the progress the world has made in science and technology, economic development and in other fields of human endeavour, there are still over a 100 million children who are out of school and are denied a childhood and facing exploitation in various ways," Mukherjee said in his address.
"Mankind must realise without any further delay that there can be no progress unless our children are safe and secure, unless they are provided freedom and the opportunity to become the agents of change," he said.
Lauding the campaign, Mukherjee hoped it will have a path-breaking impact on millions of children across the globe.
"This global endeavour of mobilising 100 million youth and children is the beginning of change that was long overdue. It is only appropriate that the campaign begins from India which has the largest population of youth in world," added Mukherjee.
The campaign aims to bring together 100 million young people and educate them about their rights and the rights of thousands of other children, similar to them.
"The 5-year campaign strives to inspire 100 million children to speak and act for the numerous other unfortunate children living in terrible conditions and will motivate them to build a child-friendly world, where every child is free and safe to learn and to have an equal chance in life," said Satyarthi.
The campaign also brought curtains to the two-day 'Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit' that brought together the collective leadership of around 25 Nobel laureates and leaders for creating a child-friendly world.
Among the leaders who participated in the summit included Princess Charlene of Monaco, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands and Nobel laureate and former President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta.