Thiruvananthapuram: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Tuesday called for a mass movement against child abuse to make schools in the country safer for children. He also termed the killing of the seven-year-old boy by a bus conductor at a school in Gurgaon for resisting sexual abuse, "shameful and disgusting".
He was in the city as part of his Bharat Yatra against child abuse. Sathyarthi will be covering 22 states during the month-long yatra.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Satyarthi said,"Safety of children is still not our priority, we just ignore it. There are rules and regulations in different districts and under RTE. The more important thing is whatever there is on paper has to be properly implemented. All schools should be held accountable if they are not adhering to what is to be done legally."
Speaking about the incident where a child was murdered inside a school, he said,"It is really painful and disturbing. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for children. Schools will be safer only if there is a mass movement against child abuse."
Starting from the southernmost tip of peninsular India, Kanyakumari, and passing through Kashmir, the Bharat Yatra will culminate in New Delhi on October 16. It aims to mobilise action against sexual abuse and trafficking of children. The country has no choice other than speaking out against child abuse, Sathyarthi said adding if the society continues with its silence, it would only help strengthen the abusers.
When the problem of abuse becomes a "moral epidemic", the society cannot simply tolerate it, but has to act, he said, adding if the society keeps on hiding the problem, it would become much worse.
Satyarthi said that many parents are frightened to speak up. They want their children to be in the good books of the teachers and school, thinking that is the best way for their future.
"Thinking about their future, the present is lost. They don't have time to talk to their children on whether they are feeling safe in buses in schools," said Satyarthi.
About his 'Bharat Yatra' mission, Satyarthi said it is a "non-violent war" against violence, rape, abuse and trafficking of children.
The Nobel laureate said it is the largest ever social movement on the issue in the history of the country and urged every child to be a part of it.
The activist, during the interactions with school students, said he supports imparting education to children in their mother tongue and termed child labour as a social evil and a crime.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who took part in the event organised by the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, wished that Satyarthi's march would be a turning point in putting an end to the menace of child abuse.