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