Jaipur: Previously a child labourer and now a social activist, Kinsu Kumar, who is based out of Virat Nagar in Rajasthan, has appealed to world leaders at the United Nations that “elimination of child labour and exploitation of children will only be possible by educating children to provide them with better and more opportunities”.
He spoke as a child leader representative at the United Nations’ “Transforming Education Summit” in New York.
The summit is a key initiative of ‘Our Common Agenda’ launched by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in September 2021.
On the sidelines of the summit, Kumar also highlighted the importance of education at the 4th “Laureates and Leaders for Children” summit.
This is a brain-child of Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi as a first-of-its-kind platform bringing together Nobel laureates and global leaders to build a sense of urgency, collective responsibility and a strong moral voice to galvanise political will for making this world peaceful where all children are healthy, safe and educated.
Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee, former Swedish Prime Minister Stephen Lofven and Human Rights activist Kerry Kennedy were also present at the “Laureates and Leaders for Children” summit.
Kinsu worked as a child labourer in a motor garage at Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh when he was only 6-years-old.
He was forced to drop out of school as his family could not afford his education and had to contribute to his family’s income by working as a child labourer.
His life reached a turning point when his father came in contact with ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ founded by Kailash Satyarthi during the organisation’s Education March in 2001.
After his rescue, Kinsu was brought to the Bal Ashram Trust, where he received non-formal education and then was enrolled in the school nearby in class 4.
Bal Ashram Trust, located at Virat Nagar near Jaipur, is an innovative and grassroots organisation that addresses deep-rooted and complex societal problems to ensure child protection and create a child-friendly world.
It was founded by Kailash Satyarthi in 1998 as a long-term rehabilitation centre for children rescued from child labour, slavery and trafficking. The Trust has positively impacted 1,74,724 children’s lives till date.
After completing his higher education, Kinsu joined the Bal Ashram Trust as a programme officer. Throughout his journey, Kinsu’s passion to protect child rights and the will power to stop child labour has never waned, making him a global ambassador for the rights of children.
In this role, he has travelled all over the world, including the US, where he testified in a Congressional hearing and the European Union where he spoke at a high-level panel on education in the presence of the World Bank President and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other global leaders.
He has also participated in The Hague Global Child Labour Conference as a representative of more than 60 million children, who are forced to work as child labourers to benefit their employers.
The recent appeal by Satyarthi for a nationwide campaign against child marriage will provide a huge boost to our collective resolve to fight against the social evil and enable children like Kinsu Kumar not to fall victims to various forms of child exploitation like child labour and child marriage.