Pakistan

Humans of New York collect $2 million to eradicate forced labour in Pakistan

Photographer Brandon Stanton from the Humans of New York, helped raise $2 million for Pakistani workers embroiled in forced labour.

The popular photographer, who chronicles everyday New Yorkers and tells their story through photographs, decided to narrate the story of Pakistanis. Brandon Stanton visited the country this month and took photographs of Pakistanis who were embroiled into forcible labour.

Among the photographed was also Syeda Ghulam Fatima, who has also campaigned openly against bonded labour in the country. Bonded labour is a social menace in Pakistan and has forced many children as well as poor workers into labour as opposed to education.

In one of the series of posts containing the photographs of Pakistanis, this is what Stanton wrote:-

“Throughout rural Pakistan, illiterate and desperate laborers are tricked into accepting small loans in exchange for agreeing to work at brick kilns for a small period of time.”

“But due to predatory terms, their debt balloons, growing larger as time goes on, with no possibility of repayment, until these laborers are condemned to work for the rest of their lives for no compensation,” he wrote. “If the laborer dies, the debt is passed on to his or her children.”

I want to conclude the Pakistan series by spotlighting a very special change agent who is working to eradicate one of…

Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, August 15, 2015

“Bricks are the primary unit of construction across Pakistan. They are cheaper than concrete so almost everything is…

Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, August 16, 2015

“I was walking to court to attend a hearing against a kiln owner when suddenly I was surrounded by a group of men. …

Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, August 16, 2015

“I was born into the brick kilns. I started working at the age of 12. The work never ended. We’re expected to make…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, August 17, 2015

“My sister fell ill and her medical bills cost 30,000 rupees. My father wasn’t getting his salary on time, so we had no…

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, August 17, 2015

“My sister’s kidneys were failing. We tried to raise the money to save her. We sold our cattle. We sold our property….

Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, August 17, 2015

Yesterday 40,000 people donated over $1,000,000 in fewer than 12 hours to help Fatima end bonded labor. The fundraiser…

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Before this fundraiser, Fatima had exhausted her financial resources in the struggle against bonded labor to the point…

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Final Word On Pakistan:Imagine that every time you have a lapse in judgment, it gets printed in newspapers around…

Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stantons posts were well received, hundreds and thousands shared or commented on the photographs shared by him. This was instrumental in making Brandon set up an indiegogo donation account for Fatima’s charity organization titled The Bonded Liberation Front. The response was ecstatic; just four days after the campaign was launched, more than $2 million had been collected.

Fatima was also overjoyed at the amount of donations which had been received and thanked the people for their generous efforts.

Thank you to everyone who has opened their hearts and donated to our cause,”Fatima said in a statement Tuesday. “I struggle to find the words, I don’t think I have the words to tell you how grateful we are. …

“Our responsibility now is to honor what you have trusted us with, and we will. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we want to build a real freedom center in Lahore, where we can work on not just releasing families but rehabilitation,” she said. “We want workers to be treated with the rights they deserve as citizens.”

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