Kumar was enslaved at just 7 years old. He had been orphaned and was living with his uncle when a corrupt brick kiln owner used a relative's debt to conscript him into slavery. As other children his age were just beginning school, he became trapped by violence and was forced to work seven days a week, exhausted and afraid.
He woke early each morning to begin labouring at 6:30 a.m. and continued until the evening hours, his hands raw and his body exhausted from the strain of the brickwork. "When we stacked the bricks, I had sharp pain all over," he remembers.
IJM helped rescue Kumar three years later, and the team has walked closely with him ever since.
Millions of people around the world are trapped in slavery like Kumar was and desperately need help. Give today to help send rescue and restore their lives.
After his rescue, Kumar began to dream of going to school like other children. Backed by outstanding support from IJM Bangalore, he was able to pursue this desire for an education, and eventually he completed his bachelor's degree in commerce.
Kumar then set his sights on helping others and pursued a master's degree in social work. Today, he says, "My childhood dream has come true."
IJM rescue teams are actively planning to rescue and restore the lives of more children trapped in modern-day slavery and your support today is vital.
Today, Kumar's dedication to his community has landed him a job at IJM Chennai as a field worker, where he will work directly with survivors and vulnerable communities.
He says proudly, "As an educated man, I want to bring about a change in my community. I want to ensure that my people learn the importance of education and savings. By inculcating the habit of saving money, we can prevent bonded labour."
IJM Chennai is thrilled to have Kumar on board and wishes him the best as he sets out to change the lives of people who are waiting for hope and freedom.
We won't stop until all are free. But we need your help. Please give today to help rescue victims of slavery and restore the lives of survivors.