Stressing that violence is not a solution to any problem, Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Monday said he will fight for the children of Jammu and Kashmir and urged children not to “indulge in any form of violence”.
However, he stopped short of condemning pellet injuries suffered by children, saying that he is “raising the strongest possible voice to protect children of Kashmir from any sort of violence”. He also appealed to parents to not “poison” the minds of children.
“Kashmir’s children are my children… If somebody is using them for violence or they are hurt, my heart aches,” he said in a veiled reference to separatists and militants. “I have decided that we have to give a strong message to the children of Jammu and Kashmir that there is a friend committing himself to fight for their rights and fight for their security, well-being and education. I will keep coming and fighting but with this request that children shouldn’t indulge in any form of violence,” he said.
The founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan was in Srinagar as part of the Bharat Yatra, flagged off in Srinagar by CM Mehbooba Mufti, to raise awareness about crimes against children.
Asked about pellet injuries inflicted on children, he said, “What happened in past, why something did not happen, how it happened — it is the past.” However, he said that he would like to meet the children blinded by pellets last year. “I would definitely like to meet them… I feel they are my children whether somebody has handed them a gun or a stone or if they are lying injured in hospitals. All are our children. They are my children. I will come again.”
He appealed to parents to not “poison” minds of children. “I appeal to parents, please don’t poison the mind of their children, protect them from rumours, educate them.”