As news of activist Kailash Satyarthi winning the Nobel Peace Prize reached the Bachpan Bachao Andolan headquarters on Friday, the nondescript building at Kalkaji in Delhi became abuzz with a teeming crowd of Satyarthi’s friends, family, neighbours and international and national media persons.
The announcement left many surprised, including Satyarthi’s daughter, Ashima. “I was taken by surprise when I heard that he had won the Nobel prize. I was at home around 2 pm while my father was here (the office). I immediately rushed here,” Ashima said.
While Bachpan Bachao Andolan employees tried to bring some order to the chaos at their office, their excitement was palpable.
“I came to know about this after someone from my village called me. I immediately called Kailashji and his family but the numbers were busy. I thought someone was playing a prank but when their phones were busy, I realised that the news might just true,” said Bachpan Bachao Andolan Treasurer Laxman Singh, as he passed a box of sweets around.
Notice boards in the office carried newspaper clippings and pamphlets about the work done by the organisation while a board above the reception claimed ‘BBA total children released since 1980 — 83,525’.
While some huddled around a television set in the Bachpan Bachao Andolan office’s conference room, other rooms were filled with journalists waiting for their turn to speak to Satyarthi and his family members.
With OB vans parked in the narrow lane outside the office, traffic piled up and onlookers were left wondering what the buzz was all about.