Kailash Satyarthi

  • India
  • Children's Rights
  • Nobel Peace Prize

Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian social reformer who campaigned against child labor in India and advocated the universal right to education. In 2014, he was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Malala Yousafzai, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” The Peace Prize laureate was born to a high-caste family. He completed a degree in electrical engineering, but soon gave up his career and his high-caste name, Sharma. Instead, he called himself Satyarthi, which means “seeker of truth”. He is the founder of multiple social activist organizations, including Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global March Against Child Labour, Global Campaign for Education, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, and Bal Ashram Trust. He has served on the board and committee of several international organizations including the Center for Victims of Torture (USA), the International Labor Rights Fund (USA), and the Cocoa Initiative. Satyarthi was among Fortune magazine’s “World’s Greatest Leaders”.

Kailash Satyarthi and his team at Bachpan Bachao Andolan have liberated more than 86,000 children in India from child labor, slavery, and trafficking. In 1998, Satyarthi conceived and led one of the largest social movements against child labor ever called the Global March against Child Labour, a 49,710-mile-long march across 103 countries. The marchers’ demands were unanimously adopted the following year at the ILO Conference in Geneva. Satyarthi also led a nationwide march, Bharat Yatra, in India covering 12,000 miles in 35 days, to demand legislation against child rape and child sexual abuse.


  • Population
  • Capital
    New Delhi
  • GDP (PPP)
  • August 15, 1947
  • Total Area
    3,287,263 km2 (7th)
  • Demonym
  • Government
    Federal parliamentary constitutional republic


A portrait of Kailash Satyarthi with some of my hand lettering. I was inspired by the presence of lettering all over India—the billboards, the street signs, the artwork, the clothing, tagging, taxis, trucks... When I lived there I fell in love with the loudness of the culture but more specifically the volume and imperfection of the typography. Most Indian lettering is hand drawn so I wanted to create something with a bold message in type.

The type in the background says “Bal Mitra Gram” meaning “Child-Friendly Village model”, a model created in rural developments that Kailash is well known for. These village models were created In an effort to empower children and parents, to educate them, and prevent child exploitation. Giving them back the power of their own rights.

  • Illustration by
    Katie King Rumford