5 Things to Know About Nobel Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi

Indian activist shares honor with Malala Yousafzai.

ByABC News
October 10, 2014, 7:17 AM

— -- Kailash Satyarthi was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize today for his decades-long fight against child slavery and exploitative child labor.

The India native, 60, shares the honor with Malala Yousafzai, a child activist and international inspiration who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago. Both were cited by the Norwegian Nobel Committee "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

In a 2004 ABC News profile, Satyarthi said his home and office have been attacked, but he said the danger is worth it.

"If I was not fighting against child labor, I don't know what else I could do. It was always in my heart, I could not live without that," he said at the time.

"It's really a kind of spiritual feeling which is difficult to explain," Satyarthi said. "And the smiles come on the face of the children when they realize that they are free."

Here are five facts about Satyarthi’s career and efforts.

1. He Worked as an Electrical Engineer

At age 26, Satyarthi gave up a career as an electrical engineer to devote himself to protecting children, even raiding factories where workers were held captive.

2. Following Gandhi's Path

He is known for participating in protests and demonstrations – all peaceful, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee – with a focus on child exploitation.

3. A New Label

He started a program in 1994 called “Rugmark,” now known as GoodWeave International, in which rugs are certified and labeled to be child-labor free.

4. Meaningful Movement

A campaign founded by Satyarthi and his friends in 1980, Bachpan Bachao Andoloan, can be translated as “Save the Child Movement.” It’s credited with freeing nearly 80,000 children.

5. Worldwide Honors

He was featured in a 2005 PBS series “The New Heroes,” hosted by actor Robert Redford.