NEW DELHI: Ever since Monday night, when burglars walked out of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s residence here with his Nobel Peace Prize medal replica, certificate and other memorabilia, activists
from his organisation and family members believe that whoever stole the medallion missed the inscription on it which reads - "Pro pace et fraternitate gentium” (For the peace and brotherhood of men).
The thieves entered Satyarthi’s Aravali apartment house breaking a window and a ventilator. A social activist, who has been fighting against child labour along with Satyarthi for a long time, discovered
the burglary on Tuesday morning. Satyarthi is currently in the US with his wife to attend a Nobel Peace Laureates Summit.
“The doors were open and I thought the housemaid, who was shifted to Satyarthi’s son's residence since he went to the US may have come to clean up. Then I saw the bedroom; it was wide open and everything was in total disarray. The empty boxes of the medallion were thrown in a corner. There were many other memorabilia he had received from top international institutions and everything was gone. The burglars only left empty boxes. Drawers, where memorabilia was kept, were pilfered and the burglars took away some gold jewellery but did not touch the silver ones,” the activist said.
The activist told Express that burglars perhaps wanted to steal only the medals and certificates as many other expensive items like a tablet, laptop and cameras were untouched.
“They even took away several pieces of shawls which were given to him in honour by governments and institutions. All this was a reflection of his crusade against the heinous crime of child slavery and child labour. It inspired generations to participate in his cause and a great movement was built in this country,” he added.
Satyarthi told Express that the Nobel Prize belongs to the entire nation and not to him individually and it is the nation, which needs to protect and treasure the greatest recognition, meant for the
country. Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his campaign against suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. He had dedicated the medal to the nation.
Surprisingly, despite the high threat perception against him and his family members, no security was provided to Satyarthi at his official bungalow by the government. Sources in the government
admitted that Satyarthi and his family members were attacked several times by traffickers and profiteers of child slavery and continue to receive threat calls.
“We will review the threat perception for him and his family members. We need to examine whether his current residence is secure enough and the government may take a decision to offer him a suitable and more protected residence in the city,” said sources in the government.
In 2010, burglars had targeted Satyarthi’s office but even then, they took away only documents while other expensive items were left untouched.
Kailash Satyarthi was born in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. After completing an electrical engineering degree, he worked as a teacher. In 1980, he left teaching and founded the organisation Bachpan Bachao
Andolan, which has freed thousands of children from slave-like conditions.
He has also been active in an array of international organisations working against child labour and for children's right to education.