“I was born into the brick kilns. I started working at the age of 12. The work never ended. We’re expected to make 1,000 bricks per day. We work from 5 AM to dusk. I tried to organize the workers recently to demand fair wages. We held meetings at night, but one of the workers informed on us. The owners called me to the office and beat me. They made the other workers join in. Then they took off all my clothes and tied me to a tree. I begged them not to do it. They left me there for hours. I tried to escape at night. I padlocked my family in the house and I ran into the fields. I came straight to Fatima. Before we could return for my family, the police had helped the owners break into my house. And my daughters were paraded naked in the streets.”

(4 of 7)
(Lahore, Pakistan)


This is the fourth post in a series on Syeda Ghulam Fatima. Known to her admirers as Pakistan’s Harriet Tubman, Fatima has worked tirelessly to eradicate bonded labor—one of the last remaining forms of modern slavery. This man is one of millions of bonded laborers in Pakistan, and one of the tens of thousands who has turned directly to Fatima to help him escape the violence and cruelty of the owners. Fatima has been electrocuted, shot, and repeatedly beaten for her activism. Despite her outsized impact, she operates on a very small budget. So we are raising money to help her in her mission.

Today is the last day of the fundraiser we are holding for Fatima’s organization, The Bonded Labour Liberation Front. We have raised nearly $250,000 so far. Costs are low in Pakistan, so this sort of money can be leveraged many times over. We are not just increasing Fatima’s abilities to help free people from bondage. We are MULTIPLYING those abilities. Nearly 8,000 people have contributed so far. I encourage everyone to read the previous posts, and consider being counted in our effort to aid Fatima’s fight against modern slavery: