Nobel prize winner Kailash Satyarthi’s foundation for children will set up a rehabilitation and welfare fund in Assam for those who are trafficked and engaged as bonded labourers.

Announcing the initiative, Satyarthi on Tuesday said that initially the fund will be set up with an amount of Rs 2 crore.

“Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has assured me to give the foundation an amount of Rs.1 crore to set up the fund. The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation will collect another Rs.1 crore from corporates and other sources to set up the fund,” Satyarthi told the media.

The Nobel laureate on Monday delivered a lecture on the occasion of the 117th birth anniversary of Assam’s renowned Sanskrit scholar and educationist Krishna Kanta Handique, organised by the K.K. Handique State Open University.

“I met the chief minister today (Tuesday) and put forward some proposals. He agreed to the proposal of setting up a fund to help trafficked children and also assured an amount of Rs.1 crore,” Satyarthi said.

“The fund will initially be used in Assam and can be replicated to other states of the northeastern region later,” he said.

The fund will be used for generating awareness on trafficking, and help the victims in their rehabilitation, he said.

Satyarthi asked Gogoi to create an action plan to deal with trafficking.

“Assam and the northeastern states have become a hub for child trafficking. There should be an action plan to solve this problem,” he said.

Poverty and illiteracy, the main reasons for trafficking, were very much present in the northeast, he said.

“Assam has all the factors that leads to child trafficking… poverty, illiteracy, violence, natural calamities like floods… and that is why the problem is serious for Assam,” he said.

Satyarthi also asked the chief minister to appoint a state government officer at Assam Bhavan in Delhi to handle issues of child trafficking.

“Trafficking is a serious problem in Assam and there should be a senior official in New Delhi, particularly in Assam Bhavan, to coordinate with the parents of missing children from the national capital,” he said.

Most of the children trafficked from Assam are found in places like Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan etc., he said.

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