Iqbal Masih was born to a rural family just outside of Lahore in 1983. He was sold into bonded labour at a very early age to a local employer who owned a carpet weaving business. His father had borrowed money from the employer for wedding of Iqbal’s brother and to repay the loan, Iqbal had to work as a bonded labour.
He worked daily for 12 hours, 7 days a week. And then managed to escape when he …was ten but was caught and brought by the police (no other) to his native place. Then, he was sent again to the carpet weaver. He escaped again and this time he joined Bonded Labour Liberation Front of Pakistan.
He worked with them to free the children like himself and was successful in freeing about 3000 children. He was shot dead in 1995 when he was only 11 years old.
His death remains a controversy as some claim he was shot dead by carpet weaving mafia while others say he was shot dead by a farmer.
However, his legacy lives on, and United States Labour department has an annual award in his honour : The Iqbal Masih Award.
Sadly in his home country he is hardly known! Lets appreciate the strong little being who did more good in his short life than most of us have ever done. Hats off to you, hero!