New Delhi: Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Bharat Yatra which has entered the 5th week and final leg of its marchhas created a massive impact across the country with a crore people pledging their support to the Yatra. Chief Ministers, Judiciary, youth, children and citizens have all pledged their wholehearted support to the cause the Nobel Laureate has taken up.
The Bharat Yatra’s impact has inspired many state Governments to not only lend their support but also start many initiatives to make children safe.Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan emphasised the need to award the death penalty to the perpetrators of sexual abuse on children.Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, has announced that the state will house a first of its kind global policy institute, under the guidance of Mr Satyarthi, dedicated to formulating an environment which is conducive for the protection of children of the Country.
The Yatra has also received tremendous support from the judiciary in the country. Highlighting the high pendency of POCSO cases, Mr Satyarthi and the Bharat Yatra are demanding for special courts and fast-track appeals to help in time-bound justice and compensation for the victims. Taking note of theappeal, Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, Honourable Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee assured the Nobel Peace Laureate that he would personally see to it that POCSO cases are disposed of quickly. He also assured the Nobel Laureate that more child-friendly courts would be set up in Karnataka. This step marks the beginning of the fulfilment of active judicial intervention the Bharat Yatra seeks to bring about.
The Nobel Laureate, recently in his home State Madhya Pradesh, called up on doctors to walk extra mile for sexually abused children. Speaking at People’s University, Satyarthi appealed medical professionals to do their bit for the victims of abuse.
Bollywood superstar Mr Amitabh Bachchan lent his support for the Bharat Yatra and encouraged all his fans also to do the same. Mr Bhagwanth Khumba, a Member of Parliament from Bidar also declared that he would put forward a proposal which will dedicate a day in the in the Parliament in Lok Sabha sessions to the discussion of the rights of children and how best to look after their safety,security and well-being.
As the Yatra rolled on from Kanyakumari on September 11th, Mr Satyarthi appealed to people of the Country to join the march through a video song written by Mr Satyarthi himself called ‘NikalPade Hein’, composed by Indian Ocean and Sonam Kalra, which garnered over 2 million views in just 24 hours. Tech giant Google (India), promoted the Bharat Yatra on its homepage and has enabled tracking of the Bharat Yatra on google maps, showing solidarity with the cause of eradicating violence against children.
Several influential business leaders and public figuresincluding the honchos of Godrej, PayTM and L&T have spoken in support of the Bharat Yatra, while celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Illayaraaja,AmalaAkkineniand Vivek Oberoi have appealed to the citizens of this country to march for this noble cause. Mr Dhanush and Mrs LathaRajnikanthmarched with the Nobel Laureate in Chennai on September 13th. The Yatra has also received support from the CII – Young Indians forum, the Free Masons, Lions Club and The Rotary Club.
Mr Satyarthi and his team have amongst their demands, the drafting of a strong anti-trafficking bill to ensure that there is harsh punishment for the perpetrators and well-defined modes of redressal available to the victim.
The Yatra is the launch of the three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of the cases, strengthening intuitional response including medical health and compensation, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials and increasing convictions of child sexual abuse in a time-bound manner.