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FOR PHOTOS: PLEASE ASK FIRST, I WOULD APPRECIATE THE COURTESY OF BEING ASKED!
Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IQBAL MASIH: LITTLE HERO FROM PAKISTAN


Peter Gabriel, Michael Stipe and Iqbal Masih (1994)




Iqbal in the US



Iqbal:Cordoba, Spain



The Little Hero: a book by A. Crofts







Name: Iqbal Masih


Birthplace: Muridke, Lahore (Pakistan)


Date of Birth: 1983


Died: 16 April 1995 (shot to death)


Inspired By: Abraham Lincoln & Ehsan Ullah Khan


Networked With: Bonded Labour Liberation Front


Education: BLLF School for former slaves


Sacrifice: His Life


Greatest Achievement: Bringing global awareness to child slavery and bonded workers. Helped identify and encourage thousands of child slaves to seek freedom.

video
On Iqbal Masih..



Of all the big names, this boy is indeed a hero of heroes, sold into slavery at a carpet factory at age four, he worked on looms until the age of 10, when he ran away from the factory for the first time - a policeman from whom he asked for help - handed him back to the owner of the factory - with a caution to chain Iqbal. All these years he was never fed well, and as a result, his growth was stunted. His back curved, his hands were scarred and callused and his fingers were gnarled from the repetitive work of tying thousands of knots every day. His breathing was labored from the carpet dust that he inhaled and that affected his lungs.

Iqbal never gave up the idea of freedom from bonded labor and eventually on his second attempt he succeeded [BUT with the help of Ehsan Ulla Khan, of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front, (BLLF), he was finally freed). Iqbal thrived and learned, and eventually joined the BLLF as an advocate for Pakistan's 12 million bonded children laborers. Iqbal was intelligent and he was brave.He started attending the BLLF's school and finished 6 years education in just 2 years. An American instiution was so impressed that they awarded him a scholarship to go to school in the US. He was to leave for an educational programme at Brandeis University in a few weeks when he was brutally murdered.

As a worker with the BLLF, he spoke to children about their rights under laws and he freed as many as 3,000 children from bondage. As an international spokesman for the BLLF, he traveled to the United States and Europe calling for an end to bonded child labor.
On 16th April 1995, 25 kilometers from Lahore, in a village called Rakh Baoli, Iqbal was killed with buckshot fired from close range. This death occurred on the evening of Easter.Though he is gone, his actions inspired an international campaign of middle-school students and adults that is helping to free and to educate thousands of child laborers.

"A bullet can't kill a dream" - yes, that is true - a school in the US where Iqbal met with students and shared his life experiences - started a campaign to open schools called:"Schools for Iqbal" which is still raising money to open "School for Iqbal" around the world.


A Spain based SolidarityNet for the abolition of bonded child labor have also made a great contribution to establish schools in Iqbals' name. They are also striving to declare "April 16"-the day Iqbal was shot dead - as The International Day against Child Slavery.




In Sweden, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherland, South America, USA and in many parts of the world - Iqbal Masih is a household name.


In Sweden - comic book on life and work of Iqbal has been produced online and in print.


Another magazine can be read here that highlighted Iqbal.
Iqbal is no more but his life and work will keep bringing change in the life of many.


More on IQBAL HERE...and a COMIC STRIP ON IQBAL.
How Iqbal's story brought change for CRAIG KIELBURGER read here.

3 comments:

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  2. Thank you Mr. Nauman, for introducing your project & your comment...by the way, I'm NOT Fauzia and hence I wonder if this 'comment is meant for me?'
    Anyhow, in case, you want to use this article, please go ahead!
    Good day.

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