Pune: Bharat Yatra, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, reached Pune on Tuesday, the 16th day of its 35-day journey across India.
Rear Admiral Rahul Shrawat (Rtd), Managing Director of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and Bharat Yatra core marcher, administered the pledge for a Safe Childhood-Safe India, with the students of Kalyani School, St Anne’s School and Vatsalya School.
Bharat Yatra, launched on September 11 at Kanyakumari by Satyarthi, is a march across the country to build awareness on combating child sexual abuse and trafficking. Ever since its launch, Bharat Yatra has been drawing enormous support from citizens across India, including celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and PM Narendra Modi.
Bhuwan Ribhu, National Secretary of ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’, said, “With people from all walks of life coming forward to support Bharat Yatra, that day is not far when our dream of a safe childhood will be a reality for every kid in India. We must unite and come forward to create that India together.”
Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and marchers were welcomed at Kalyani School by Deeksha Kalyani, School Director and Nirmal Waddan, School Principal, along with Vinita Arora, Principal, Vatsalya School and Leena from Bajaj Foundation.
Kalyani said, “I believe India will be safe only when criminals are given severe, prompt and public punishment. Let’s hold our hands together and walk with Bharat Yatra to spread this message across India. Let’s raise our voices to make changes in the system.”
PMC Corporator Dhanraj Ghoghare joined Bharat Yatra at Wanawadi grounds. More than 5,000 youths are participating in the yatra.
The yatra is the launch of a three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse, which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of cases, strengthening institutional response including medical health and compensation, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials and increasing convictions in a time-bound manner.
The yatra will cover 11,000 kilometres in 22 states. The cities covered include Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bhopal, Jaipur, Srinagar among others. Over three lakh people have already participated in the yatra.