Ever wondered what happens when two eminent Nobel Peace Laureates come together to discuss pertinent issues affecting the society? You end up with a prolific conversation revolving around poverty, child labour and economic strife among others. And that’s exactly what happened during a recent live Facebook session hosted by The Better India, featuring H.E. José Ramos-Horta (former President of East Timor & United Nations Special Representative) and Kailash Satyarthi (founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan). Here are five takeaways from the stellar discussion:
1. Kailash Satyarthi was 26 when he quit his job as an electrical engineer to start Bachpan Bachao Andolan but the spark to combat child labour began when he was just a child. On the first day of school, he saw a cobbler boy and asked his parents and teachers the reason behind why the he wasn’t going to school.
Everyone told him not to worry about these issues but it made him angry nevertheless.
2. H.E. José Ramos-Horta, as the President of East Timor, launched a project that provided housing for the poor. Having only limited budget, he went to the poorest of the neighbourhoods and spoke to the residents directly. He asked them not only to choose the families that they thought deserved these homes the most but also to find the land on which the houses would be built on.
Over 100 houses (costing between two to four thousand dollars each) were built in the city.
3. Given the highly sensitive nature of his work, Kailash Satyarthi has faced immense resistance from the syndicates that benefit from child labour and has even been physically assaulted a number of times resulting in broken bones and other serious injuries.
But he never considered giving up this cause.
4. H.E. José Ramos-Horta believes that while he may not be able to help everybody, he will do what he can to help at least one person. He recounts an incident several years ago when he tracked down an impoverished girl living in Afghanistan after watching her interview on BBC.
Upon finding her, he provided aid to that the girl and her family in whatever capacity he could.
5. Kailash Sathyarthi notes that the key to addressing economic exclusion lies in education and the biggest impediment to this is child labour. He reasons that illiterate people will remain poor and the poor people will remain illiterate.
Globally, 168 million children are working full-time jobs and 210 million adults are unemployed.
Watch the discussion here:
Nobel Laureates DiscussionWe are live in a discussion with TWO Nobel Peace Laureates – H.E. José Ramos-Horta (former President of East Timor & United Nations Special Representative) and Mr. Kailash Satyarthi (founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan).
Posted by TheBetterIndia on Tuesday, December 13, 2016