Interview with Kailash Satyarthi on 12 December 2014, during his visit to the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.
Can you a share a memory from the Nobel Days?
Kailash Satyarthi: Actually when I was giving my Nobel Lecture, I lost my manuscript, some pages. You remember, ja, so I was just looking here and there and then I laughed. I made a humour out of it. And I started telling a story of what I remember from my childhood, so that story became the most popular in my speech and then in the meantime, those pages that were missing, was brought to my table, so it worked so well. And let me tell you the story also.
There was a, this story goes like that, that once a very heavy fire broke out in the forest, everybody was running away from there, including the lion, the king of the forest. Suddenly he saw that a very tiny bird was rushing straight towards the fire and he asked her: “What are you doing?”. She replied: “I am going to extinguish this fire.” He looked at her and laughed, he said: “How can you kill this this fire without one single drop of water in your beak?”. To his surprise, the adamant bird replied: “I am doing my bit”. That’s all.
Interview with Kailash Satyarthi on 30 October 2014 at the inauguration of the Nobel Museum exhibit Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World in New Delhi, India.
Do you think the Nobel Prize will affect your work?
Well, it has already started affecting my work. The attention, the concern, the interest, the moral strength, the determination has been generated during these 10-15 days. Frankly speaking, it has never happened in the history about the most deprived children, the most ignored, the most neglected children. There are many unnoticed, there are many invisible and this Nobel Prize announcement gave the visibility to the hidden problem in the world, but some people knew, but most people were not aware that – oh, it is so serious. But more importantly, the grassroot workers, the people who are going to bring freedom and education in the lives of children, they are so enthusiast, and they are so strengthened morally, and a new kind of confidence has been built. When I am reading their letters and e-mails which are coming to me from all around the world and they see that in our lifetime we can end child labour. We will see the end to child labour, and we will see that all children would be enjoying fullest of their childhood in their schools and their playgrounds and their homes and not in the fields and palms, mining, workshops or other places. So, it is a great moral boost to everyone who is working in this field.
What message you would like to confer to young people?
I knew since my childhood that every story related to the Nobel Prize is a source of inspiration, is a source of light. It gives you a moral boost to think beyond what you see in your day-to-day life. It encourages you to think and do out of the box. It enhances the imagination; it deepens and widens the scoop of learning. For me, learning is a birth right of everyone, and learning is the vehicle to run the world. One can learn a lot through the stories, but also can do more. So, for children, I would say that they should read, they should know about the inventions of the Nobel Laureates and others, but they have to go one step ahead, or two steps or ten steps ahead to make this world better.
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Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.