I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.
If not now, then when? If not you, then who? If we are able to answer these fundamental questions, then perhaps we can wipe away the blot of human slavery.
Each time I free a child, I feel it is something closer to God.
Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.
More than 30 years ago, when I had embarked upon the fight against child labour, it was not even considered an issue worth any discussion. It was accepted as a way of life in India, much like it was in other countries. Today, no country or business or society can throw this issue away.
The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present and our future. No segment in the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of the young people.
India may be a land of over a 100 problems, but it is also a place for a billion solutions.
Today, in every wave of every ocean, I see our children playing and dancing. Today, in every plant, tree, and mountain, I see our children growing in freedom.
Every child matters. If we fail our children, we are bound to fail our present, our future, faith, cultures, and civilisations as well.
I am really honoured, but if the prize had gone to Mahatma Gandhi before me, I would have been more honoured.