Life is unfair. There can be no doubt about that. There was an interesting piece in the morning paper about life in Pakistan. Imagine a young boy who dreams of going to school and being free to become someone with a good job and a secure future. Try to walk in his steps (because he wears no shoes) and imagine what it would feel like to spend your day kneading lumps of wet clay and slapping them into brick molds. You do this all day long until your your shoulders and back ache. You must do this because of the debt your parents have incurred trying to stay alive. The pay is meager and you will never be able to pay off the debt and so, like your parents, you will be chained to this miserable job and bleak life until you can no longer make bricks. There is no hope of being free of debt.
Seventy percent of bonded laborers in Pakistan are children. Bonded labor is against the law but enforcement is nearly nonexistent because of the clout of wealthy landlords and kiln owners. Bribery protects the interest of the wealthy and takes advantage of the poor. There is little or no education made available to these children. No one seems to care. The poor have no means of protesting. They have no vote because they have no birth certificate or no national ID. They are lost in the shuffle. Invisible.
If you can imagine yourself living this life, you will be numb with the dullness and deprivation of your days, but drunk on dreaming to keep your soul alive. The soul is a delicate flame in the wind when it is without shelter. How will you survive? How will you escape? Who will hear your prayer as you squat, dig your toes into the earth, and fill your brick mold with wet clay?
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