I am 12 years old and I wish there was no child labour!

Published: October 7, 2012

That cruel man became angry and kicked the boy really hard on his back. That poor small boy who was wearing dirty black clothes filled with mud ignored him and continued to fix our cycle. PHOTO: REUTERS

Yesterday, I went to my friend’s house to play. We wanted to go cycling on the road in his neighbourhood.

Since, there was no air in the tyres we had to go to the cycle tyre shop. We went to the nearest cycle shop which was at Saba Avenue. We had to stand in line to get it fixed.

On our turn, an 11-year-old boy started fixing the puncture. While he was fixing it he noticed that the brake wire was also broken. When he had fixed the two punctures he turned the cycle around to fix the wire. While he was fixing it he needed pliers to tighten the wire.

While he was busy tightening it another man came who needed to fix his motorcycle handle. He asked that small boy;

Yeh plas mujhe abhi doh

(Give me those pliers right now)

That small boy refused saying;

Yeh cycle mien abhi bana raha hoon, jab khatam kar liya hai phir le lena, ya waha plas para hooa hai wo le lo”

(I am fixing this cycle at the moment, when I have finished you can take them then, or there is another one lying there, you can take that.)

That cruel man became angry and kicked the boy really hard on his back. That poor small boy who was wearing dirty black clothes filled with mud ignored him and continued to fix our cycle.

Then that man kicked that small boy again, harder this time. The boy ignored it again.

Then the cruel maniac said;

“Ye plas abhi do warna mein tumhe aur zyada maroo ga”

(Give me these pliers now or I will beat you more)

The polite little boy ignored him.

The boy took a stool from the other corner to sit on, tired, sad and miserable. Picking up the pliers, the evil man charged to where the boy was sitting and roughly pressed the pliers on the boy’s eyelid.

The sad little boy, now scared started crying, but nobody in that neighbourhood cared. We were trying to tell that evil cruel maniac to stop doing that to a poor helpless boy, but we were scared that he might start hitting us.

We felt very sorry for that small boy.

Alas, we could not help him.

We wished that there could have been some law to prevent this child labour. This boy should have been in school instead of facing such gross brutalities by his customers.

Follow Ajay on Twitter @AjayDawani

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Ajay Dawani

Ajay Dawani

The author is a teenager, who likes to write and give his views and ideas on different things. He tweets as @AjayDawani1 (twitter.com/AjayDawani1)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • tanveer

    right,that boy should be in school but if not and he is working in some shop he is human he should get respect and justice.
    I salute him and feel sorry for this in justificationRecommend

  • Ali

    Very well written article, it is very good for this 8th grade student who has written it. It must have been a good experience. It happens a lot in Pakistan. Amazing article!Recommend

  • Anjali

    Nice article. I like to donate money to people. We should. We should try our best to stop Chold Labour in Pakistan and start educating the people. I feel sorry for them. We should all educate and donate money for the cause of Child Labour which especially takes place in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Abdullah

    I feel sorry for that small poor boy. He got hit very badly. He didn’t deserve it. He must be working very hard and he got hit. That cruel person!! Poor child! :(Recommend

  • Rashid

    @Ali: Yes it happens a lot in Pakistan but a slightly different version, Instead of the Customer only the Ustad hits the boys, and instead of the Pliers it is the big heavy hand of the ustad on the poor little boys Neck on shoulder, now this happens a lot in pakistan, Plus if some customer beat a kid , next day his body is found in the nearest NALA.Recommend

  • http://tahirsheikh Sheikh tahir

    Aslam o Alikum
    To my all friends it is possibles but there needs a best system who control every think in this country , i say that labour is the friend of God but in this age. Eduction is compulsory for every one ,this problem is finished when eduction is free all Pakistan and equalization base it is possible . Recommend

  • Ali

    Yes, exactly even I was saying the same thing. Very true. Very common in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Shahid Ashraf

    This is cruel. This type of abuse happens everyday with poor working children in Pakistan but nobody cares. I wonder why so called patriotic, self pleasing Pakistan ignore such issues while criticising the value system of Western societies. Is this something to proud of as Pakistani?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Credit goes to you for writing this and to Express Tribune for publishing it. Creating an awareness about what is wrong in our society is a brave act, well done.Recommend

  • Sajni

    Very sad but that is true, it’s happening in our country and we can’t do anything about it. It happens a lot. There is no law to prevent Child Labour in our country.Recommend

  • Haris

    To the author, grow some guts if that really had happened.Recommend

  • Concerned

    What a sad and miserable story. Such cruelty exists in Pakistan, its frustrating! And I bet the man fasts throughout Ramazan and prays 5 times a day! Education should be made free and compulsory for all!Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    I think child labor contribute a lot to Pakistan’s economy.Recommend

  • Ali

    You are telling it is fiction mr Haris? It doesn’t look like that. Cruelity in our society is very common and can be seen everywhere. It is just the observation.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Some adult man got angry and kicked an 11 year old boy who is working probably to support his family.
    This has nothing to do with Child Labor Laws. Boy is learning a skill, that could help him become some kind of mechanic later in his life.

    Government needs to help poor families so that their kids don’t have to work to support the family. To begin with people can volunteer to tutor these kids. I am not for child labor, but some families are so poor that kids have to work to support the family

    As I was writing the comment, I remembered a story about a kid who ran away from his home because of mistreatment from his step-mom. A taxi stand owner hired him to clean his taxis and provided him with food and shelter. Later he started working as a helper with a car mechanic. A German woman hired him as a driver. He never looked back. He want from working for one foreigner to another. He has visited many foreign countries and now lives in USA. He never went to school.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Haris: The author is 12 years old and I assure you that by writing this he has displayed way more guts than you, who has taken the simple way out by being negative. Recommend

  • ManishJ

    Thank god there are no trolls here so far.

    Very well written article. i had tears reading it. This is rampant here in India too. I think the time has come for us citizens to take up causes like this and do something about it on our own without relying too much on governments who are busy playing their dirty games.

    The kind of poverty both the countries have i dont think we can stop the child labour soon. In that case we should atleast ensure better working conditions for these kids, by providing them with jobs that are not too demanding along with providing them with some formal vocational training so that they can learn the trade at a very early stage. This will also help stop juvenile crime.Recommend

  • Concerned

    @Insaan: thats a great story Insaan, but is the benchmark for a good life visiting numerous countries as a driver? There’s a reason why America has been so successful, and its because of the American dream! The possibility that anyone, whatever his background, can achieve big things because they are given the OPPORTUNITY to succeed!
    In Pakistan this opportunity isn’t even given!!!! Education can change a persons life! And if child labour isn’t outlawed then the number of children on the streets can never be reduced!Recommend

  • Concerned

    @Insaan: Let me ask you another question. Would you not send your child to school (in the future or whatever), and instead ask him to work somewhere? OR work while going to school?

    Child labour is just morally wrong! If you ask any mother in the rural areas to make one wish, you know what she’d say? Educate my children. Not to make her rich, or have a mansion or something but for her children to go to school..Recommend

  • tanveer

    @/ all do not look toward other that anyone else will come and change the system let us start from today and from ourself that we will not do like this and will try to stop cruelity.Recommend

  • ManishJ

    @Dont be fooled with consciousness and Islam:
    What has this got to do with the article? wonder how ur comments passed the moderation. Are we discussing religion here. Cant you just shut up if you dont have anything worthwhile to say? what is wrong with you?Recommend

  • goatam

    This issue of child labour and cruelity towards poor children is very common in our country. It can only be seen if we go out and do things ourselves! The least government can do – to make education cumpolsery and free till 10th grade. Will PTI make such promise?? PPP and PML have so many of their own problems, they have NO time for poors. True and very sadRecommend

  • goatam


    You are wrong dear Zalim singh. If child labour contributes in our economy then why our country always have begging bowl? What about west who are economically very sound and all without child labour. Give children education and they will contribute to development.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Dont be fooled with consciousness and Islam:
    That was very gutsy!Recommend

  • Midhat

    @Dont be fooled with consciousness and Islam:
    Are you serious? What has Islam to do with this? God these Islamophobes just rant irrespective if its relevant or not! Childlabor also exists in India, China and Many poor African Christian Countries! Its Poverty you dumb fool.

    Moderators: Seriously? The 8 grader doesnt need to read these hate comments on his innocent humane attempt. Recommend

  • http://www.scribd.com/asifameer Asif

    Dear Ajay,

    You too can stop this. Ask your mom to pay more in salary for the maid services. Nothing will get by morning but plan is to change the coming decade.

    And Ajay, always stand for the weak. Because when you stand for the weak, God stands with you. All the best.


  • Insaan

    @Concerned: but is the benchmark for a good life visiting numerous countries as a driver?

    I am not saying kids should not go to school. Some poor kids have no choice, they have to work to support their families.

    Government and NGO’s can help such kids and their families by providing shelter and necessities, so that kids can go to school and families can survive.

    For a kid who never went to school and ran away from home when he was 11 or 12, visiting many countries and finally settling down in USA legally is a big accomplishment. He made sure his kid got the best education in a “public school”.

    Talking about USA, a whole lot of desi small business owners are not well educated, but are doing very well Recommend

  • Ms. Ras

    Yes indeed a very well written article. Being a mother I can imagine how hard it must be for the mother to send her children for such mocking labour. It must be extremely painful to see your own child working in such horrendous conditions.

    I agree wiht some of the comments here, If we cannot provide these kids eduction and make them cherish their childhood , then at least , at least we can treat them well and be kind and caring towards them. May Allah punish those hands who tortured the innocent child inscribed about in this bolg and may Allah punish all such evildoers who dont treat them as human.
    The day of judgement shall be particularly hard for such cruel men and women.

    And yes; why cant we have movements, rallies , protests for the rights of these poor innocent yet to be grown flowers , who are being trampled upon so ruthlessly in the race of life. Recommend

  • Umair

    Reading these comments makes me realize this nation is a lost cause. “I salute the boy’s bravery”, “it must’ve been a good experience for you”, “do more by asking your mom to pay your maid” … what a bunch of impractical, ignorant, cowardly hypocrites you all are!

    Ajay, where exactly did you encounter this, what was the boy’s name and what was the maniac’s name? I work for an organization that assists children like these through a variety of interventions. Our scope is limited but we do what we can! Please feel free to contact me at david _ slater83 (atr) yahoo.com (please remove the spaces) and we will try and look into this.Recommend

  • Mohammad

    Very nice article for this 12 year old author. He has expressed our society. Many people have experienced it and it happens a lot. This small slum boy should be provided with education, he should be studying right now. Recommend

  • Umar

    I feel very sorry for this small poor boy. I would like to see him. I am very sad to hear such a depressing story. I would like to help this poor boy. He must have been working very hard. He must have been the main source of income of his family. This happens a lot in our society but there is no one to protect these people or stop child labour.Recommend

  • Changaizi

    I am against child labour but do not understand a few things. Why are children allowed to work on TV and films? It’s a full time job. I have seen many under-age children work in super markets in the western countries.Why doesn’t it come under child labour?Recommend

  • Hakim

    I think to stop this child labour we should donate money and protest. The parents must be sending their children to work because they must be very poor and they would not have enough money to run their lives like food and shelter. Recommend

  • LOL

    It is very sad to hear this incident. We should try and stop child labour. We shall help the poor people. The poor children work to support their family. We should donate money so many families get money and they send their children for education.Recommend

  • Goatam

    In which country and which city of Europe u have seen children working in super markets? It is simply unbelievable, as we have been to Europe , Malaysia Thailand but seen no child of 11 years working?
    It looks like you are in support of children not going to school and provide you rich people – cheap labour!! But at the same time your personal greed keep this country backward too. You mean – wadera, choudhries etc etcRecommend

  • fact

    @Anjali: Donation will not help because politicians are the biggest culprit. What happened to the billions of dollars of aid given to Pakistan? We only care about what Veena Malik and Aamir Liaquat is doing in our media but we ignore important issues of our nation. It seems that we are living in a nation that practices dictatorship. This is not taking us anywhere unless we the youth of our nation stand together and do something about it.Recommend

  • Hassan

    This is happening a lot in our society. Many people have experienced it. It’s happening a lot in our society and country. There is NO LAW to prevent Child Labour in Pakistan. This country is very free, who ever wants to do anything can, there is no body at all to stop them. Recommend

  • Ahmed

    It is right that, that boy should be in school studying. Parents send their children to work because mostly the reason is they be bored at home, they do not have enough money to run their lives for shelter and for food. I hope there is this new law for slum kids to have free education which should be compulsory. I wish that small boy the best of luck in his future. Recommend

  • lol

    Awwww poor child. I feel sorry for this unprivileged, poor and uneducated child who got hit so badly from that evil cruel maniac who is very lazy and cannot go and pick the plier up from there. This is crazy. Recommend

  • I am Awesome

    It is really depressing to hear this story. I am very sad. This happens a lot but no body can stop child labour or help stop child labour. Whenever I see a small child doing some labour I feel very sad. Whenever I go on the road and on a signal specially on Sunset Boulevard and Submarine Chowk there are many small children who come and begg for money. They wear torn and dirty clothes. There are many children beggars in Defence Mraket also. One day I gave 50 Rs to this small girl. She was very happy and then she walked straight and she gave it to her mother. Recommend

  • RedM

    @Haris: the author is a 12 year old boy. Recommend