right to separate such small children from their parents I didn t want to stay here either says Puran 28 who now sits with Mohit on the small wall that borders the soccer field He came to the ashram as a nine year old in 2001 with his two smaller brothers and now works as a teacher His parents were also nomads they roamed the country as road workers following the con struction sites As a child he was quite satisfied he never questioned this life Then by chance in 2001 the March for Education passed the very highway where Puran and his brothers were digging deep holes into the road for water pipes Kailash had organized it and he said we should go to the ashram But the first few days in his new home were terrible for Puran It was a culture shock Together with on the street with his father asking Kailash and his father for work Up until that point I had thought all chil dren went to school He pestered his father and the teachers with questions but was unsatisfied with the answer he received Poor children just have to work He saw the boy every day and finally mustered up the courage to ask the father why he wasn t sending his child to school He had never thought about it the man said we were born to work That made me cry remembers Satyarthi today Exactly 60 years later and nearly 300 kilometers southeast of Delhi a similar story unfolded decades after Satyarthi s key experience Mohit is also one of those boys who had to work instead of going to school Child rights activists had seen him and his parents on the street His parents were nomads living off a kind of road side circus where they let their children balance and dance on ropes Little Mohit with his big dark eyes that s money But the activists convinced the parents that it was better for their children to go to school That was how Mohit came to Bal Ashram together with his friend Lakhan and Lakhan s two older brothers He s the size of a five year old although nobody knows exactly how old he is He s the smallest one in Bal Ashram On this morning he s standing on the side of the large soccer field and crying At 6 30 a m his brothers as everyone here calls each other run across the square It s time for early morning exercise Mohit doesn t want to join in Here on this huge square in his tight jeans and open sneakers he seems terribly lost A teacher kneels down next to him What s the matter But Mohit continues to cry He s been here in the ashram for four months Anyone who sees him like this a little boy who no longer remembers his parents exactly who washes his own laundry after morning exercise sweeps the dormitory learns during the day and falls asleep alone in the dormitory in the evening the only one with a cuddly toy in his bed wonders Is it even Kailash Satyarthi The human rights activist Kailash Satyarthi born in India in 1954 has been working to liberate children from child labor since he was eleven years old In the time since then he has been able to free more than 83 000 children In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Malala Yousafzai Report36

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