Iqbal Masih

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Birthplace
Muridke, Pakistan
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Birthplace
Muridke, Pakistan

Iqbal Masih was a 12-year-old Pakistani kid who fought against child labor till his death. His parents sold him to a carpet weaving company when he was four years old to work as a carpet weaver. He and the other children were kept tethered to the chains in order to prevent them from escaping. When Iqbal was ten years old, the Pakistani Supreme Court proclaimed child labor to be illegal, allowing him to flee. His independence did not last long, since he was apprehended by the police and returned to his employer. Iqbal began studying when his second try was successful, and he expressed a desire to become a lawyer to combat the atrocity of child labor. Iqbal was killed by a heroin addict from the Pakistani carpet mafia while returning from one of his campaigns in the United States. He continues to be a role model for Pakistani children who are still unable to escape the horrors of child labor.

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The Early Years

In 1983, Iqbal Masih was born in a small hamlet outside of Lahore, Pakistan. His father was a poor laborer who abandoned the family once he had another son, which meant there was another mouth to feed. Iqbal’s mother, Inayat, a housecleaner, was responsible for all of her children while working odd jobs in houses throughout Lahore.
Iqbal, oblivious of his family’s severe circumstances, was cared for by his sisters and played in a large field outside his little house. Iqbal’s childhood, on the other hand, came to an end at the age of four, when he encountered’real world’ for the first time. The family needed money for his older brother’s wedding party in 1986, so they borrowed Rs. 600 from a local carpet weaver. In exchange, he forced Iqbal to work as a bonded laborer until the loan was paid off.

Iqbal began working since he had no other choice and discovered that he was working alongside several other children. He began working early in the morning and continued until late in the evening. He worked 14 hours a day, six days a week, at such a low wage that he was unable to repay his ‘owner.’ But, despite the lack of hope, he continued to work, and even when the Pakistani Supreme Court declared child labor unlawful, the corruption that pervaded Pakistani politics and the economy kept the evil well nourished.

Iqbal planned his first escape when he was ten years old, after becoming tired of the inhumane treatment he was receiving. The youngsters were abused, hungry, forced to work in great heat, and pushed to work overtime for pitiful money, barely enough to provide them with two square meals, and sometimes much less. Iqbal’s bravery inspired him to take a gamble that would cost him his life if he failed, yet Iqbal took the chance and devised a plan to flee.

Iqbal grabbed several other youngsters with him and they all fled away, landing right in the middle of a police station, only to find themselves in the midst of poisonous corruption, as evidenced by the police’s reaction. Iqbal and other youngsters were handed over to his employer by uniformed corrupts in exchange for money.
Iqbal’s punishment for fleeing was acute malnutrition and gruesome beating sessions, and time seemed to stand still for the brave young child as his misery seemed to go on forever.

Iqbal attempted another escape attempt when he was 12 years old, this time to a Brick Layer Union convention. Iqbal met an activist named Ehsaan Ullah Khan there, who assisted in the release of Iqbal and other children from Arshad, the carpet shop owner.

Activism of Iqbal Masih

Iqbal had a tremendous desire to learn and was accepted into the Bonded Labour Liberation Fund School, where he was such a bright student that all of his teachers were pleased.

Iqbal assisted around 3000 child slaves in escaping slavery and finding a better life. He began to gain fame and gave speeches in various sections of his country as well as many other developing countries where child trafficking was still prevalent.

Iqbal met numerous social activists during his time at school, and at the age of roughly 12, he began penning his own speeches. He claimed a desire to study law in order to abolish the slave labor system in his country and around the world. As his reputation as a young leader grew, he was invited to give speeches in the United States and Sweden.
There was a time when Iqbal was the focal point of BLLF meetings, and he enthralled and moved the audience to tears. He revealed his personal experience as a child laborer and urged Pakistan’s upper crust to join him in his quest to reclaim the lost childhoods of millions of young children forced to work in fields and factories without the basic essentials of life.

At the tender age of 12, Iqbal showed more courage than the ordinary guy and loved watching cartoons on TV. When he travelled to the United States to receive his Reebok Human Rights Award, he became addicted to playing video games.

Last Days Iqbal Masih was continually threatened with death by enraged males who thought he had taken their opportunity to gain cheap labor in the form of youngsters. Iqbal was shot and killed by Muhammad Ashraf in Muridke, Pakistan, on April 16, 1995, after returning from an Easter celebration with his family. He said his goodbyes to the world, leaving it in a somewhat better state than when he was born. His killing caused a firestorm, and Pakistan awoke from its slumber to combat the evil that had enslaved small children and robbed them of their innocence.

Legacy of Iqbal Masih

Iqbal Masih became a worldwide emblem of the anti-slavery movement. Several accolades were bestowed upon him.
Kailash Satyarthi referred to him as a martyr while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
The United States Congress established the ‘Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor’ in Iqbal’s honor.

Iqbal’s life inspired the establishment of organizations like ‘Free The Children,’ a Canadian charity and youth movement, and the Iqbal Masih Shaheed Children Foundation, which operates many schools in Pakistan.

In 1994, he received the ‘Reebok Youth in Action Award.’
In 1996, the MCC-Christian Cultural Movement and the CJS-Youth Solidarity Path in Spain and South America declared April 16th as International Day Against Child Slavery.

In Trieste, Italy, the Istituto Comprensivo Iqbal Masih, a comprehensive education institute chain, was named after Iqbal in 1998.

He was awarded the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child posthumously in 2000.
In Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the Council of Santiago unveiled a Square named after Iqbal on April 16, 2012.

Estimated Net Worth

Check out Iqbal Masih’s net worth in 2020. Iqbal Masih’s automobiles, income, remuneration, and lifestyle are also up to date. Iqbal Masih’s estimated net worth is $ USD 9 million, according to online sources (Wikipedia, Google Search, Yahoo Search).

His primary source of income is as a human rights activist. We don’t have enough information about Iqbal Masih’s cars or lifestyle. These details will be updated as soon as possible.