Originally named Kailash Sharma, Satyarthi was born on 11Th January, 1954 in the Vidisha district of central Indian state Madhya Pradesh.
He attended Government Boys Higher Secondary School, and completed his degree in electrical engineering at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha and a post – graduate degree in high-voltage engineering. He then joined a college in Bhopal as a lecturer for a few years.
In 1980, he gave up his career as a teacher and became secretary general for the Bonded Labor Andolan (Save the Childhood Mission) that year. He has also been involved with the Global March Against Child Labor and its international advocacy body, the International Center on Child Labor, and Education (ICCLE), which are worldwide coalitions of NGOs, teachers and trades unionists. He has also served as the President of the Global Campaign for Education, from its inception in 1999 to 2011, having been one of its four founders alongside Action Aid, Oxfam and Education International.
In addition, he established Good Weave international (formerly known as Rugmark) as the first voluntary labeling, monitoring and certification system of rugs manufactured without the use of child labour in South Asia. This latter organization operated a campaign in Europe and the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the intent of raising consumer awareness of the issues relating to the accountability of global corporations with regard to socially responsible consumerism and trade. Satyarthi has highlighted child labor as a human rights issue as well as a welfare matter and charitable cause. He has argued that it perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems, and his claims have been supported by several studies. He has also has a role in linkin the movement against child labor with efforts for achieving “Education for all”. He has been a member of a UNUESCO body established to examine this and has been on the board of the Fast Track Initiative (now Known as the Global Partnership for Education). Satyarthi serves on the board and committee of several international organizations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the International Cocoa Foundaton. He is now reportedly working on bringing child labor and slavery in to the post – 2015 development agenda for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, along with Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
Satyarthi is the fifth Nobel Prize winner for India and only the second Indian winner of the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa in 1979.
He lives in New Delhi, India. His family includes his wife, a son, daughter-in-law and a daughter. He has been described as an excellent cook.
Awards and honours
Satyarthi has been the subject of a number of documentaries, television series, talk, show, advocacy and awareness films. Satyarthi has been awarded the following national and international honors :
2014 : Nobel Peace Prize
2009 : Defenders of Democracy Award (US)
2008 : Alfonso Comin International Award (Spain)
2007 : Gold medal of the Italian Senate, Recognized in the list of “Heroes Acting to End Modern Day Slavery” by the US State Department
2006 : Freedom Award (US)
2002 : Wallenberg Medal, awarded by the University of Michigan
1999 : Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award (Germany)
1998 : Golden Flag Award (Netherlands)
1995 : Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (US), The Trumpeter Award (US)
1994 : The Aacherner International Peace Award (Germany)
1993 : Elected Ashoka Fellow (US)