NEW DELHI -- Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi is no stranger to Indians. Known for bold raids on factories to rescue children working as laborers, he's built an image as a hero to India's youth.
Satyarthi is the first Indian to win a Nobel Peace prize. The activist, 60, has led a campaign for more than three decades in the field of children's rights -- particularly fighting against child trafficking.
In his first reaction to winning the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which he shares with fellow children's rights activist Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, Satyarthi was careful not to forget his cause.
He said he was "extremely delighted," and called it, "a recognition of our fight for child rights... I am thankful to the Nobel Committee for recognizing the plight of millions of children who are suffering in this modern age."
Born in 1954, Satyarthi trained as an electrical engineer, but abandoned that field to start his campaign for children's rights, the Global March Against Child Labor. Through his organization, Satyarthi is credited with rescuing more than 80,000 children.
He played an important role in spearheading a movement in India called Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood), against child labor. It eventually led to an amendment of India's constitution, paving the way for the Right to Education act, which ensures compulsory education for all children in India.
Satyarthi has also fought for consumer resistance to products made by forced child laborers across the globe.
His current charity, the Global March (GMACL), is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, teachers' and trade unions, and the Global Campaign for Education.
Satyarthi serves on the board of at least two U.S.-based organizations; the Center for Victims of Torture, and the International Labor Rights Fund.
The activist has been honored by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and has been ranked among the top defenders of human rights of all time, listed in one book alongside the likes of Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wessel, and the Dalai Lama.
In an interview to Indian newspaper The Times of India, he once said he wanted to "level the playing field where I can learn from the children. Something I can learn from children is transparency. They are innocent, straightforward, and have no biases."