Kailash Satyarthi on his ‘War’ against rape of children

NEW DELHI: Days before he embarks upon a ‘Bharat Yatra’ from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi shared his quest for a “war against rape and sexual abuse of children”.

“The age of rape victims is getting lower and the heinous crime is getting even more horrific as the victims are being murdered, the time for talk and preaching is over,” Mr Satyarthi said on The NDTV Dialogues.

India is facing a “moral epidemic” in form of child abuse, he said, adding that he himself is unable to look into the eyes of victims and their families.

The Nobel Laureate shared the ordeal of the father of a young girl who was gang-raped and murdered in Shimla recently. The girl’s father, Mr Satyarthi claimed, told him that his daughter’s body had 50 bite marks on it. The 63-year-old added that such cases are ‘a slap on our culture, religion and constitution’.

Asked on the tragedy of children dying in Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen, he said, “these deaths are a massacre and just because it has been happening, it can’t be allowed to go on”.

Mr Satyarthi also spoke up on the humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Myanmar, where his fellow Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been questioned for her silence on the Rohingya crisis by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

“All of us (peace laureates) wrote to Suu Kyi and even the UN secretary general called on her to help these victims, and have expressed our concern and anger over the situation,” Mr Satyarthi said.

The Rohingya community has accused the security forces of mass killings and rapes and the burning of hundreds of villages.

Myanmar reportedly does not want its 1.1 million Rohingya, who are seen as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and are refused citizenship. Successive regimes have historically discriminated against them even though many have lived for generations in Rakhine state.