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Kailash Satyarthi compliments Narendra Modi for Swacch Bharat initiative

PTI 05 Nov 2014, 23:48:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Nobel Peace Prize winner and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi today lent his support to the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan and complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking up the issue of cleanliness.

Satyarthi, at an interaction with students of IIT Delhi, said ensuring cleanliness was a social issue and all citizens should extend their cooperation to the initiative.

"I support the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. Because cleanliness is important. It is not a political issue. It is more of a social issue. "Everybody should get involved in all these social causes, and cleanliness is definitely one of them.

It is good that the Prime Minister himself is taking up this issue and others are also joining in," he said. Satyarthi also talked about the need for change in the mindset of the people for such campaigns.

"Awareness, involvement or engagement is the beginning of changing of mindset. Once people start doing it like that, maybe a gesture to begin with, it will then become a fad, and that becomes the process of changing the mindset," he said.

The child rights activist also spoke about the "link" between high population growth and increase in child labour and said the connection between the two is like a "cycle which had to be broken".

"It starts when a family gives birth to more children than they can support. In such families you will see the children working while the adult will be sitting idle. "In the world there are around 160 million children who are engaged in labour, while there are nearly 200 million unemployed adults.

Most of these adults are from families with more children. So this is like a cycle which has to be broken," he said.