Tag Archive: Bachpan Bachao Andolan

For Kailash Satyarthi & Malala Yousafzai …


You have struggled for the rights of children in India,

your Bachpan Bachao Andolan has been tirelessly striving for an end to,

child labour,
abuse of children,

for year after year,

and today,


your selfless work has been recognised by the world at large,

and I am humbled to pen these words for you, Shri Kailash Satyarthi – Ji!


You faced the bigots,

you stood up to narrow religious perversions,

you faced the Taliban head – on,
and though they tried to silence your voice of reason,

their bullets failed,

and today,


your valiant courage has been recognised by the world at large,

and I am humbled to pen these words for you, Malala Yousafzai!


India and Pakistan,

once one land,

torn apart by shallow religious sectarian agendas,

but not today,

not now,

not today,

for today,

We are all one.

We are all human.

May peace prevail!

May universal AND free education for every child be realised!

May justice prevail,

at long, long last!

copy-left afzal moolla 2014

For Malala Yousafzai …

(for Malala Yousafzai, 14 years old, in a critical condition after being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban, for her work as a young activist advocating the rights of girls to attend school)

When hot lead tears the flesh of a 14 year old girl,

ripping through her skull,
leaving her to bleed out and die,

does Allah not recoil in horror,

to see His child whimper,
to see His daughter cry.

Where is the indignation,

the anger that often boils over and manifests itself as flags and books and videos are burnt in mass orgies of hollow piety,

where are the voices that scream so loud,
that denounce all but their own creed,

where are the men, the impotent men who crave for nothing more than their fascist egos to feed,

where are the voices that so loudly proclaim,
enemies here and enemies there, always quick to condemn,

where are those voices when the enemy walks amongst them.

14 year old Malala Yousafzai was shot in cold blood,

her crime?

Advocating the rights of girls to an education.

Shame on you, men of bigotry and men of cowardice.

Shame on you, silent and mute accomplices in this carnage.

Shame on me,
for my inaction,

Shame on us all,
who proclaim lofty ideals,

yet are conspicuously silent,

when a 14 year old girl is shot in the head,

by fascist fundamentalist bigots who only worship bullets of hot lead.

Not in my name!

Not in my name,
shall the cowardly men rain down abuse,

Not in my name,
shall the bigoted men light the communalistic fuse,

Not in my name,
shall Malala Yousafzai be shot in the head,

left to bleed out,
while countless mothers’ tears are shed,

not in my name,
shall religious murderers,
be left to wander free,

not in my name,
for I dare all believers to open their eyes,
to see!

To see,
the innocence of a 14 year old girl,
wanting only an education,

as the men of the cloth,
prance around with their pathetic self-righteous indignation.

I write this today,
the anger raging in my veins,

yet I fear,

that I shall write more of this,

unless we stand up and say ‘no more’,

I fear that I shall be writing this again,

until we all,

reclaim the true principles of humaneness,

until we silence the voices of bigotry,
of rage,
of fanatical insanity,

I fear I shall be writing this again,


until the muck-ridden bile,
is not excised,

I shall continue to say,


Or else I shall have nothing,

but my unending shame


Hindustan Times

New Delhi, October 10, 2014

Many would have heard his name for the first time after the announcement of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday. But Kailash Satyarthi has been a relentless crusader of child rights for years now. His organisation New Delhi-based Bachpan Bachao Andolan has been at the head of the fight against child labour by creating domestic and international consumer resistance to products made by bonded children, as well as with direct legal and advocacy work. Through a number of training programmes, Satyarthi also helps children sold to pay their parents’ debts to find new lives and serve as agents of prevention within their communities.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan was India’s first civil society campaign against the exploitation of children. It was set up in 1980 and to date has touched the lives of 80,000 young people. One of the key initiatives of BBA is its Bal Mitra Gram (BMG) programme, an innovative development model to combat child labour, protect child rights and ensure access to quality education to all. “A few years after we started BBA, we realised that to combat child trafficking and labour we must address the source of the problem: villages since nearly, 70% of child labourers come from villages. So we decided to create an environment where children are withdrawn from the workplaces, attend school, voice their opinions and ensure that authorities hear them out,” Kailash Satyarthi, founder, BBA, told HT a few months ago.
With this aim, BBA started its BMG, which are essentially model villages that are free from child exploitation and promote child rights issues. Since the model’s inception in 2001, BBA has transformed 356 villages as child friendly villages across 11 states of India, but most of the work is concentrated in Rajasthan and Jharkhand. The children of these villages attend school, participate in bal panchayat (child governance bodies), yuwa mandals (youth groups) and mahila mandal and interact regularly with the gram panchayat. In BMGs, BBA ensures that children up to the age of 14 have access to free, universal and quality education and schools have proper infrastructure so that girls don’t drop out. It also works with local communities to address local traditions like child marriages.

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