Dhoomdas laid down his life in the line of duty when he was mercilessly beaten to death by stone quarry mafia in Faridabad (near Delhi) in 1984 at the age of 25. A victim of trafficking himself, he was a tall leader of Satyarthi Movement whose invaluable contribution towards elimination of slavery and exploitation and organizing the workers in stone quarries is inscribed in golden letters. Dhoomdas motivated his colleagues when he was alive and shall continue to inspire all members of the movement forever!
“That day while carrying Dhoomdas’ body though I did not feel any weight on my shoulders, but till date I am carrying the burden of his death.” – Mr. Kailash Satyarthi.
Adarsh Kishore was a sharp and self-motivated leader of the Satyarthi Movement – a revolutionist in his own right. Though small built, his grit for restoring justice for the workers and children trafficked by stone quarry mafias was indomitable. In 1985, when the mafia could not find any way to tame Adarsh Kishore, they as cowards gunned him down in the dead of the night while he was fast asleep on the terrace. Adarsh was 30 when he was assassinated. His supreme sacrifice reinvigorated the strong resolve of one and all across the movement that ‘no obstacle can stop us from making a child friendly society, child friendly India and child friendly world.’
Our firebrand activist Kalu Kumar was trafficked from Bihar to the carpet manufacturing belt of Allahabad when he was all of six. He was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan at the age of 10. A bright student that Kalu was, he covered up the lost ground very quickly and grew up to become a leader fighting for the rights of other child slaves at Bal Ashram. In 2000, looking into the eyes of the then President of the US, Bill Clinton, he asked, “For ending child labour is it necessary to be the President of America? Without being on that pedestal can’t you help children like us?” The conviction in his questions moved the US administration to expand manifold American Aid to the poor countries. He gave up a job in a multinational company to work as a grassroots activist in Satyarthi Movement. In October 2011, when Kalu was in Koderma travelling for Campaign on Wheels (Mukti Caravan), spreading awareness in the village, a snake bit him cutting short his bright, energetic, and goal oriented life.
He would often say, “Till child labour is not eliminated, I will never leave Bhaai Saahab alone, even if I have to give my own life.” Kalu truly lived up to that promise. In fact, he is still living up to it every single day. He is inseparably attached with thousands of volunteers and activists of the Satyarthi Movement and shines the light of honesty, sincerity and integrity in their thoughts and actions.
“To be honest, I still feel that one day Kalu, like his usual self, would enter my room without knocking. With an innocent smile beaming his teeth he will touch my feet and shall say, “Look Bhaai Saahab, your Kalu has arrived." -- Kailash Satyarthi