Towards a child friendly world with Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi

In December 2014, Bain India embarked on an ambitious mission with 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. Jesal Dalal, a Senior Associate Consultant from the New Delhi office, shares her experience.

Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of child rights movements across the globe for over 35 years. He has been instrumental in the rescue of over 84,000 children from exploitation and in the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on worst forms of child labour (backbone of child labour laws across the world). These, among many others, have been achieved through his grassroots organizations dedicated to ending child slavery and exploitative child labour. In recognition of his efforts, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

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While he is hopeful of seeing an end to child labour in his lifetime, he feels there is still much to be done. Children today continue to suffer from a broken ecosystem, one where policy is incomplete, frameworks are insufficient and stakeholder capacity is limited. In an effort to address these issues, Mr. Satyarthi is currently creating a foundation to fight child abuse, lack of education, and poor health. This foundation’s key mission is to eradicate all child labour by 2025 through a first-of-its-kind, holistic process – and Bain in engaged in every aspect of his vision.

Our role initially started with a strategy blueprint for the new organization. In depth interviews, benchmarking, and detailed discussions with Mr. Satyarthi and his team led to the development of a comprehensive strategy document. This was accompanied by a detailed operating plan laying out all action needed, and continues to be used as ‘guiding principles’ across all levels of the organization. As we moved along, Bain also stepped in to kick-start key processes of hiring and fundraising – and over time our contribution has evolved to supporting the complete implementation of the organization set-up.

A day in the life of an AC on this case is always interesting – as the independent case lead working directly with the client and the Bain India Office Head, I learnt something new at every step. From building an app as part of an engagement strategy, to meeting CEOs and CFOs of conglomerates passionate about making a difference, and even down to hands on experience of building and running a huge awareness campaign, I got a chance to contribute to the entire process of setting up a non-profit body. The best part? Getting to spend time with the children at Mr. Satyarthi’s Ashram (children’s home) and hearing their brave, uplifting stories of life before and after being rescued.

The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation has started impacting lives of children since the very start. One of its key achievements is the establishment of a replicable model for Indian states to curb violence against children through both online and offline resources for rehabilitation of trafficked children. This initiative, along with several others, is expected to improve lives of millions of children in India and across the globe over the coming years.

Joining as the guest speaker at Bain India’s annual offsite in Dubai, Kailash Satyarthi inspired everyone deeply as he spoke about his journey and his vision. His message was simple – as the guardians of the new generation, he urged us all to do our part in abolishing violence against children, and to do so in whatever capacity possible. Interspersed with interesting anecdotes about his life and the children he has met and rescued, the speech stayed with everyone for a long time after he had left.

Kailash Satyarthi and his Foundation are poised to pave the way for a better world for coming generations – and Bain looks forward to supporting them in every way in this mission.

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