build a National Movement Towards An
for the Shiksha Yatra
architects of the Indian Constitution
laid the foundation for not only a Secular
Republic but also the foundation for
a Literate India. This is reflected
by the declaration under Article 45
of the Constitution-"That the State
shall within ten years of the commencement
of the constitution provide free and
compulsory education to all children.
Today India is confronted with a grim
reality. On the one hand, India has
emerged, as a superpower in the information
technology and on the other hand 12
crore children in the country are illiterate.
It is a matter of shame that a country
which has held a respectable position
in science, knowledge, religion today
accounts for the largest number of illiterate
in the world. Out of 88 crore illiterate,
32 crore are Indians, out of which 62%
the leadership of Mr. Kailash Satyarthi,
Bachpan Bachao Andolan (SACCS) since
the last 20 years is waging a war against
child labour. A doyen in the field of
fight against child servitude, it was
the unrelenting efforts of only one
personality who spearheaded a movement
at the local, national and international
level to give millions of children under
servitude an opportunity to be released
from the shackles of bondage. His approach
not only entails release but also includes
rehabilitation. SACCS has been successful
in bringing the issue of child labour
onto the social, political and economic
agendas both nationally and internationally.
has with great success followed the
tradition of marching to reach the masses
on vital issues of social significance.
To sensitize and mobilise social action,
SACCS accomplished the 80,000km. Global
March against Child Labour. The March
was actively supported by 70 lakhs participants
in 108 countries. The Global March Against
Child Labour paved the way for the adoption
of ILO Convention 182 to combat worst
forms of child labour.
for a Peoples Movement
appreciate the initiatives taken by
various organisations, individual, state
government and the Central Government
in the field of elementary education.
But at the same time we feel the urgent
need for a people's movement. Besides
government civil society also bears
the responsibility for failing to challenge
the governments apathy and to give forceful
expression to popular aspiration for
SACCS felt the need for a Shiksha Yatra.
We know that millions of children who
are languished under bondage are not
capable of demanding their rights due
to lack of awareness about their rights.
Social awareness and consciousness cannot
be raised by holding workshops and seminars
in big cities. There is no dearth of
reports recommendations and committees.
what ails is lack of social awareness,
political will and lack of a vision.
search of greener pastures, crores of
children migrate to the cities, but
they end up languishing in bondage and
slavery. The big talks on our rich and
varied culture, tradition, patriotism,
constitution religion, democracy is
meaningless until and unless each and
every citizen in the country is involved
in the decision making process. This
is possible only each and every child
in this country is entitled to free,
compulsory and meaningful quality education.
us put our heads and hearts together
to pledge for liberation of humanity
for educating each one who has come
on earth it now becomes our duty which
we should perform with at most sincerity.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan/ South Asian
Coalition On Child Servitude request
you to extend your kind support and
participation in this Shiksha Yatra
as we believe anywhere near our goal
especially when our fight is against
an age old evil illiteracy which is
firmly root in our society.
ensure immediate passage and implementation
of the 83rd Constitutional Amendment
Bill for free, compulsory and meaningful,
quality education for girls and boys
upto the age of 18 years, with increased
provision of quality early childhood
education and care.
public expenditure on education to
at least 6% of GNP.
and mobilising the support of the
Teachers Organisation, Students Union,
NCC, NSS, Panchayats, Nehru Yuvak
Kendra, Trade Unions, Government4
NGO's and other civil society organisations.
of special education tax on foreign
investors in India, Multi National
Corporation and Local Private Sector
for additional resource mobilization.
for reducing the military expenditure
and other unneccesary expenditure
at the national, regional and international
for more extensive and broader debt
cancellation and allocation of these
funds for education.
Media Launch of the Shiksha Yatra
National Media Launch of the Shiksha
Yatra was held on January 18, 2001.
Fully endorsing and supporting the Shiksha
Yatra, United Nation's Population Control
Ambassador and Bollywood Actress Ms.
Manisha Koirala and eminent Director
Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, said "Too often
we take education as a privilege, not
as a right." Educating children
is one of the most important factors
was more vociferous "Just imagine
what will happen when crores of children
get a platform to voice the kind of
life they were shackled to," he
said referring to the Yatra. "We
are dream manufacturers and belong to
the virtual world…but people should
be wary of entertainment products,"
can you create a fair world by denying
them the basic tool to fight,"
he said pointing out that fairness in
the distribution of opportunities was
Yatra Called off on
January 31, 2001
with its partners
took a collective
decision on Jan. 31,
2001 to postpone the
ShikshaYatra to show
their solidarity for
the people of Gujarat.