Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi releases book to tell real stories of child slavery, exploitation

Talking about the book, Satyarthi said that it may have taken 12-13 years to put these stories to paper but it has taken him over 40 years "to collect and imprint these stories on his heart".

New Delhi: Nobel laureate and social reformer Kailash Satyarthi on Wednesday released his book chronicling real stories of 12 children who experienced forced labour, sexual harassment, and trafficking among other forms of exploitation.

Published by Rajkamal Prakashan and written by Satyarthi, “Tum Pehle Kyu Nahi Aaye” was released by a group of former child labourers and film actor Anupam Kher here at the Constitution Club of India.

Talking about the book, Satyarthi said that it may have taken 12-13 years to put these stories to paper but it has taken him over 40 years “to collect and imprint these stories on his heart”.

“These children were not stories for me, I was their co-passenger. I wrote these stories based on my memory and then told them to the real characters behind these stories. I wanted to create a harmony between literature and truth,” Satyarthi said.

Some of the children whose stories Satyarthi has told in the book went on to meet and address global leaders at international platforms such as the United Nations.

“There are 12 different forms in which children are harassed, assaulted, and exploited including at brick kilns, domestic labour, and child marriage. I wanted to include all these to present a complete picture of the reality,” he said.

He added that with these stories one can get a glimpse of “how historically and systematically laws and regulations have been flouted in India”.

During a fireside chat with Kher, Satyarthi said that if the stories in the book bring tears to your eyes, “it is a proof of your love towards humanity”.

“We can learn the lessons of compassion and optimism from children. It is important that we recognise the child inside each one of us. By recognising the child inside of us we can make the world a better place” Satyarthi noted.

“The Kashmir Files” actor said that filmmakers create larger-than-life heros in films, but it is Satyarthi who has created the real heros.

“The hero heroines in a film are fake, the real heros are the children in this book,” he said.

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