Once a child labourer in the Mica mines of Jharkhand, 22-year-old Manan Ansari has now completed his MSc. in Applied Microbiology from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, and is currently awaiting his final results.

Born to a marginalised family of 10 in Dhodhaola village of Koderma district in Jharkhand, Manan dropped out of school after class five to work in Mica mines so he could support his family financially. He used to work for nine hours every day, collecting Mica scrap.

In 2007, he was withdrawn from labour by our activists, and taken to a long term shelter home, Bal Ashram, established by our founder Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, for rehabilitation following which his life changed.

After completing school, Manan was provided support under our Freedom Fellow Education Fund following which he completed B.Sc. Honours with first class from Acharya Narendra Dev College under Delhi University, and has recently completed M.Sc from KIIT. He further plans to pursue a PhD and work as a research scholar to improve the socio-economical condition of children worldwide.

At Bal Ashram, Manan developed a liking for music and today he is a trained classical singer. He also wishes to take forward his love for music in the future.

Manan is a role model for his peers, classmates and other young children. He has shared his story on various national and international platforms, making people aware about the ill effects of child labour. He also got the opportunity to speak at TEDX in KS Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore in 2018 and was also invited to be a moderator for the child rights champions panel for youth in UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights on 14th and 15th March,2019 held in New Delhi, India.

In November 2019, he participated in United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneva, Switzerland where he participated as a panelists and shared his story of fighting exploitation, demanding that every corporate and government should ensure that there is no child labour in form of business or supply chain.