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Review: Kailash
by Karen Pecota

Filmmakers Derek Doneen and Davis Guggenheim knew the remarkable story of the man, Kailash had to be told. A story of a man who is sacrificial, displays again and again acts of super-heroic bravery, and who is full of compassion on a mission.

Kailash Satyarthi, is a Nobel peace prize recipient by being a global problem-solver and hero. He's extremely effective in leading the fight against forced child labor and child slavery that is entrenched in our global economy.

Born in central India, Kailash, the son of a police officer observed as a young child the injustice of children around him who thought they were born to work. He thought it was unfair that children in his community had to work long hours in a factory and not be able to attend school or play with other children.  A child himself, he raised money to pay the school fees of classmates. In addition, he organized book banks for those who couldn't buy textbooks. He learned that when one is willing to focus on a problem and take action to solve it, one will see meaningful transformations.

Years later, a man came to Kailash in desperate need of help. The man's young daughter had been kidnapped. This man needed help to bring her home. If a ransom was not paid then the man feared he'd never see his daughter again. He feared she'd be trafficked into either child labor or sexual slavery. Kailash diligently worked with the man to deal with the kidnappers for the child's freedom but in the end their efforts failed. The heartbreak and guilt of failing by this plea for help was almost more than Kailash could bear. The thought of losing one more child to the evils of this world haunted him. He vowed from this experience that he would spend the rest of his life to end child slavery. In 1980, he quit his lucrative job as an electrical engineer and put the practices of saving children to work.

Kailash began targeting the factories in India that endangered children sent to work by their parents in return for short-term loans or monetary payment. This system is often deceptive and many families get trapped in debt owed thus their children become the property of traffickers.

Kailash founded the organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) known as BBA. The growth of the organization grew rapidly by using a systematic method to directly confront and reveal the mechanics of child labor. On a weekly basis, when traffickers are identified, a carefully planned raid on the law-breaking factories take place to rescue  numbers of children per raid. The children are then placed in safe haven's where educational services and rehabilitation is provided. Many children return to their families if the organization deems it is safe for the kids and parents will not re-sell to the traffickers.

Kailash is making good on his promise to end child slavery in his lifetime. To date, Kailash has rescued more than 80,000 children and encouraged continues to help to build a global movement. He is reaching out to the world leaders asking to partner together and believes that if we collaborate we can accomplish the task to end child slavery world-wide.

Filmmaker Derek Doneen and producer Davis Guggenheim present a suspenseful yet compelling narrative of one man's crusade to liberate every child possible forced into a life of slavery. Kailash's crusade is spreading and countries world-wide are joining the fight. Lars Skree, Directory of photography has given the film audience a transparent realization of the danger one puts themselves for each and every raid.

Executive producer Diane Weyermann explains, "Kailash has proved that making this happen is not a pipe dream." She adds, "His message is now spreading to many who might not have realized they can be part of this transformation. He points out that the ordinary citizen in every country can help push the movement forward in simple ways: by refusing to purchase goods made by children in foreign countries, by insisting on greater transparency about what we buy and to continue the pressure necessary to stop child labor."

Weyermann continues, "Kailash notes that if a produce seems too cheap, there is probably a reason." Consumers need to think about this and realize that the cheap products they buy are at the end of a global supply chain. Most likely they are made by children under very bad circumstances. We can make it our responsibility to do the research and stop purchasing products if the price is too good to be true.

Guggenheim says, "Most of us in the West are unaware of the terrible human cost that comes with the lifestyle we lead. We love that so many things are cheap and we can get what we want and not have to think about it." He adds, "I believe that Kailash needs all of us to become more tuned into how our personal actions will allow us to do our part to help end child slavery." In the words of Kailash, "Do your bit!"