Iqbal Masih Jasmine winger

Iqbah Masih came from a financially burdened family and his farther decided to leave when Iqbal was young. His family was in debt because he mother took out several loans, so when his brother got married his mother took out a loan in his name. When the loan went unpaid for two years, she "loaned" Iqbal to labor in a factory.

Iqbal worked 14 hours six days a week bound with chains, and even though the labor was long and extensive he was never able to pay off the debt. His 'employers' considered him 'debt bonded' but he knew he was enslaved just like millions of other children.

When he was just 10 years old he had made up his mind to escape. He was tired of the whippings, terrible conditions, and lack of food and exercise so he and some friends had escaped and ran to the police station. But the police officer returned him to the slave owner, and Iqbal received worse treatment before. He was bound to a carpet machine and received beatings and was starved.

At the age of 12, Iqbal snuck away to a freedom day celebration where they addressed child slavery. He decided to speak up about his expericance and how he and the other children were treated. The people sponsoring the event were then determined to free Iqbal and others from bondage.

After freeing Iqbal from bondage, he became a leader of a prominent leader of the anti slave movement in Pakistan. He completed a four year education in only two years. He used his education to speak on behalf of child slaves all over Pakistan. He would sneak into other factories to speak to other child slaves and see their working conditions so he could talk about them. The Bonded Labor Liberation Front would send him to areas in Pakistan that were well known for having slaves. With his powerful education and personality he would educate laborers and encourage them to escape.

Despite receiving death threats from organized mafias, he kept speaking on behalf of the slave laborers. Over 3,000 Pakistani children escaped while recieving help from Iqbal and the BLLF. He then went on to other countries to educate other laborers. He stated 'I would like to do what Abraham Lincoln did....I would like to do it in Pakistan.' He attended the last few months of his life in school in hopes of becoming a lawyer to fight for the bonded laborers. He was later assasinated but the owners of the factory he worked for.

Iqbal Masih was a moral hero because after he had escaped he had father determination to not just stop there but to encourage many other slaves and laborers to escape. He would risk his own life in hope that he would help others and stop the child slavery that goes on in Pakistan, and in the end he was murdered for his beliefs and his goodness in heart helped start the anti-slave organization 'Free the People.'

http://history1900s.about.com/od/1990s/a/IqbalMasih.htm

http://moralheroes.org/iqbal-masih

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Jasmine Winger
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