India's Satyarthi makes online splash with Nobel win

Mr Kailash Satyarthi attends a human trafficking special session during the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The Twitter following of India's Satyarthi began jumping exponentially and his website appeared to
Mr Kailash Satyarthi attends a human trafficking special session during the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The Twitter following of India's Satyarthi began jumping exponentially and his website appeared to crash as he was catapulted into the global spotlight after winning the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. -- PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The Twitter following of India's Kailash Satyarthi began jumping exponentially and his website appeared to crash as he was catapulted into the global spotlight after winning the Nobel Peace Prize Friday.

Mr Satyarthi, a low-profile child's rights activist, was a social media minnow before winning the prestigious prize, with fewer than 200 followers on Twitter.

But within 90 minutes of the announcement, he had gained more than 4,500 followers - and the list was growing at blazing speed.

A Google search under his name prior to his Nobel victory yielded fewer than half a dozen pages of search results in English, indicating how little was known about the activist. But the pages were also multiplying exponentially after his win.

His personal website, www.kailashsatyarthi.net, which sports the blurb "Kailash Satyarthi... the seeker of truth", was failing to open - apparently under the strain of heavy demand.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognised Mr Satyarthi's contribution in heading various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain.

"Children must go to school and not be financially exploited," the committee said.

"In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."