Amazing Kids! Magazine

Iqbal Masih: An Amazing Kid from History

By Jordan Brunk, Amazing Kid from History Editor and Contributing Writer

 

Iqbal Masih is an amazing kid from history. He was born in 1983 in Muridke, Pakistan. He shows us that no matter how scared or young we are, we can always find a difference to make in the lives of those around us. When Iqbal was still very young, around four years old, he was taken to a carpet company to work until he could pay off his mother’s debt to a businessman. However, the situation was very unfair because the businessman always made sure to dock money from his already little salary for every error and more.

At the carpet company, along with several other working children, Iqbal was beaten, starved, and harmed. The work conditions in the factory were inadequate because it was very small, stuffy, and dangerous. He believed that as a young child, he and other kids should be in school learning instead of working. His health also suffered from being a child laborer, and he was very thin for his age. Iqbal wanted to stop working; however, his mother needed the money to pay back the debt.

One day when he was older, Iqbal was fortunate enough to attend a freedom-day celebration. From listening to the multiple speakers, he learned that a law was passed where he lived making it illegal for companies, businesses, and factories to hire child laborers and enslave them. Iqbal was confused as to why he was still a slave to the carpet company, sometimes even being handcuffed to a machine, so when he got a chance, he spoke to the audience.

After explaining his situation to everyone in the crowd, people wanted to help Iqbal and his friends. One man named Ehsan Ullah Khan convinced the carpet company manager to let Iqbal and some of his enslaved friends free from the factory. Iqbal was extremely happy to be released; however, he couldn’t shake the feeling of other kids and people still trapped in some businesses.

After having this feeling, he became a part of an antislavery movement around age 10 and started making several speeches in order for more people and children to be free. Iqbal was very passionate, and his words got through to many people. He even traveled to other countries speaking about how important it is for kids to get an education and to not be slaves. He riskily went undercover to hear about the working conditions of other children and to get them involved to help put an end to child slavery.

Sadly, Iqbal is no longer with us today, yet his legacy still lives on in several countries. From his speeches and undercover missions, tons of children have been saved from slavery. Iqbal shows us that even as kids, we can become a part of large organizations and really make a difference in the world. Whether it be an advocate about ending child slavery or a movement to enforce recycling at school, Iqbal shows us that we can do it all.

He encourages us to get a great education, so we can go on to get a job we enjoy in the future. Iqbal shows us that we can continue to live out our dreams as kids and that we are never too young to help out or lend a hand. From his bravery about going undercover, Iqbal shows us that we can also be brave about expressing our ideas and beliefs about certain topics. In this way, Iqbal Masih truly is an amazing kid from history.

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