“I refuse to accept that children should be forced into slave labor. I refuse to accept that we cannot do anything about it. Every child matters,” Kailash Satyarthi, who had received Nobel Prize in 2014 for his humanitarian efforts in freeing young children from slavery and bonded labor, declared during a keynote address at the TiE 2016 conference held at the Santa Clara Convention Center May 6 and 7.
Prior to his address, a video presentation had showed to the audience, Satyarthi’s efforts in freeing a total of 85,755 children from slave labor in India. Most of them had been forced into making handmade carpets in North India. In his quest for freeing the children, Satyarthi has had his legs broken, his left shoulder and head bashed, his house ransacked….and yet he continues to march on undeterred.
Satyarthi recounted his first violent confrontation when he and few aides descended upon an illegal brothel where young kidnapped girls were being trained to be used for prostitution. Satyarthi had gone to rescue just one girl at the behest of her father, but they ended up rescuing a total of 36 young girls. This became his first documented case of his liberation of children. “How can slavery and civilization co-exist?” Satyarthi asked rhetorically. “Child slavery has to be recognized,” he stated emphatically. After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, the activist gave up a lucrative career in Madhya Pradesh and moved to Delhi “because I was passionate about the cause of freeing enslaved children,” he stated.
The Indus Entrepreneurs held its 24th annual global conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center May 6 through May 7 with some of the world’s brightest minds convening to share their stories and provide advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to disrupt the market and make a name for their companies. A laundry list of panel discussions on several tracks was bookended by keynote speeches on each of the two days at TiEcon 2016, the theme for which was “Dream. Change. Inspire.” TiE has a global network of 61 chapters located in most major North American, Asian and European countries and cities, with more than 11,500 members across 18 countries.