English Assignment

My Favorite Personality

Iqbal Masih

There. rural village. By the time Iqbal was ten years old. Iqbal's older brother was to be married and the family needed money. In addition to these costs. Iqbal was required to work as a carpet weaver until the debt was paid off. choosing each thread and tying each knot carefully. Punishment included severe beatings. he often fined. Over the years. Iqbal's family borrowed even more money from the employer. extended periods of isolation in a dark closet. Iqbal often did these things and received numerous punishments. keeping the children in bondage for life. Iqbal. the cost of everything he used or ate was added to the loan. a small.000 rupees. . they were punished. the loan had grown to 13. which was added to the amount of money Iqbal had to work off. Iqbal snuck away to attend the meeting. In return. Only two light bulbs dangled above the young children. It was not unusual for employers to pad the total. worked as a housecleaner. After work. While his mom was away at work. abandoned the family. his older sisters took care of him. Iqbal was sold into bondage by his family. These employers specialize in this kind of barter. Iqbal was required to work an entire year without wages in order to learn the skills of a carpet weaver. For all this. at least 14 hours a day. The room in which he worked was hot. Without being asked. Inayat. his father. too young to understand his family's problems.April 16. Iqbal's family borrowed 600 rupees from a man who owned a carpet-weaving business. ran away. 1995) Iqbal Masih was born in Muridke. The employer kept track of the loan total. In 1986. and being hung upside down. The only way to borrow money is to ask a local employer. If the children talked back. Shortly after Iqbal's birth. spent his time playing in the fields. where the employer loans family money in exchange for the bonded labor of a small child. Saif Masih. Iqbal learned that the Pakistani government had outlawed peshgi in 1992. His life changed when he was just four years old. The conditions in which Iqbal worked were horrendous. being chained to their loom. the loan grew larger because the employer added interest. or were physically sick. Iqbal one day heard about a meeting of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF) which was working to help children like Iqbal. The children were not even allowed to daydream for a minute or else if caught they would get beaten. During and after his apprenticeship. which also added to the loan. Iqbal worked six days a week. because the windows could not be opened in order to protect the quality of the wool. To pay for the wedding. Iqbal was paid 60 rupees a day after his apprenticeship had ended. Iqbal and the other bonded children were required to squat upon a wooden bench and bend forward to tie millions of knots into carpets. but found it difficult to make enough money to feed all her children from her small income. The children were required to follow a specific pattern.Iqbal Masih (1982 -. Iqbal's mother. The children were not allowed to speak to each other. When and if he made mistakes.

Meeting up with two of his cousins. 1995. who helped him get the paperwork he needed to show his employer that he should be free. and arthritis. Iqbal was buried. the man shot at the boys.S. He went to the U. One of his cousins was shot in the arm. There is no proof that this was the case. but not his youth. After spending some time with his mother and siblings. about half the size he should have been at his age. Iqbal spent the day visiting his family for Easter. Frightened and perhaps high on drugs. the other wasn't hit. president of the BLLF. In many ways. His body had stopped growing. He spoke about his own experiences as a bonded-child laborer. This was a very dangerous expedition." Iqbal also suffered from kidney problems. the boys stumbled upon someone who shot at them with a shotgun. the three boys rode a bike to his uncle's field. Iqbal began speaking at BLLF meetings and then to international activists and journalists. He lost his childhood. Iqbal was sent to a BLLF school in Lahore.Shocked. Focused on helping other children become free. Iqbal's growing popularity and influence caused him to receive numerous death threats. Many say that he shuffled his feet when he walked because of pain. Iqbal died immediately. Iqbal knew he wanted to be free. which one doctor described as "psychological dwarfism. Iqbal's six years as a bonded child had affected him physically as well as mentally. Once free. At the school. Iqbal studied very hard. On the way. 1995. He once pretended to be one of a factory's workers so that he could question the children about their work conditions. At age ten. Iqbal's natural leadership skills became increasingly apparent and he became involved in demonstrations and meetings that fought against bonded child labor. he was less than four feet tall and weighed a mere 60 pounds. He talked to Eshan Ullah Khan. to receive the Reebok Human Rights Award. On April 17. bronchial infections. a curved spine. Iqbal ignored the letters. but the information he gathered helped close down the factory and free hundreds of children.S. he headed over to visit his uncle. Iqbal was made into an adult when he was sent to work as a carpet weaver. The most noticeable thing about Iqbal was that he was an extremely small child. April 16. not intending to specifically kill Iqbal. The original story was that the boys stumbled upon a local farmer who was in a compromising position with a neighbor's donkey. Why Iqbal was killed remains a mystery. finishing four years of work in just two. Once in a while. he also had a chance to play some computer games while in the U. Iqbal worked also to get his fellow workers free. By: Haya Khalid Class/Sec: VIII-C . On Sunday.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.