International Children’s Peace Prize

12-year-old Tamil boy nominated for International Children's Peace Prize

Sometimes what the adults fail to do for the society is done by their children that paves a way towards their own growth and development. It’s a true and a hard fact that society needs a change with a change in time and consequence and it is a belief that youth plays a vital role in the amendment of the societal norms and policies.

The above statement is proved by one of the children of our motherland named Sakhti, who is at the tender age of 12 and belonged from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai area. Overcoming the hardships of his life has inspired many tribal communities to send their children to school. He himself belonged to the Nomadic Narikuruvar Community in Tiruvannamalai.

Sakhti’s struggle started from his school days where he faced discrimination at the hands of his teachers and other students. So he decided to discontinue his education. In his quest to support his family, Sakhti resorted to begging and selling beads.

That was the time when a non-governmental organization called ‘Hand in Hand’ identified Sakhti’s community in the state as marginalized and approached its members to send their children to training sessions. The idea was to include dropouts in mainstream education. This programme is partially funded by government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Scheme. But it was not an easy task as only a few families agreed to their request, and Sakhti’s was among them. Even Sakhti found it tough to accustomed with the new life at the training centre. However, the young boy soon started learning things in hope for a better future. The first lesson Sakhti learnt was about cleanliness. From wearing tattered clothes and looking dirty and unkempt, Sakhti went on to become a perfectionist for cleanliness and practised what he was taught even at home.

“Sakhti not only transformed his life, but he also brought fabulous change in his community. That is why we decided to nominate him for the International Peace Prize for Children for the year 2017. He is the youngest amongst all 169 nominees for the award,” says Dr Kalpana Shankar, the NGO’s co-founder.

Seeing his struggle and a hard desire to study has made him get nominated for 2017 International Children’s Peace Prize, an award previously won by Nobel laureate Malala Yousifzai.

What conclusion can be taken out of it is that there are many such organisations which are working in the background of society stealthily for the upliftment of the citizens of the country especially downtrodden, poor financial community and backward region people, all such organisations cannot be applauded at the same time but their role for the society brings many issues and their solutions in front of all simultaneously . Inspired by the story of Sakhti it is supposed that not only government and other organisations’ efforts could bear fruits alone but with government aid, such poor people also have to cooperate and fight for their rights to bring a change in the society.

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