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What happened to Peter Deng?



By: Kshitij Sagar 

Peter Deng, a 13-year-old lived with his family in a village near South Sudan. In the hope to make his parents proud, he worked day and night. From morning to evening he did farming with his father and older brother, and at night he pressured himself to study hard.  

One day it was sunny and warm outside. After working really hard in the farm for all day, he was coming back home just to find out that it was the same food again. He was sick and tired of eating the same food everyday. “I don’t want to stay here, first work all day then get food like this,’’ he shouted while trying not to cry. The whole place was filled with awkward silence. That day he thought that the best thing he could do is just pack his stuff and run away, and never look back. But the hunger and regret made him reconsider his choice.

He got back to his senses and thought of going back home. But suddenly,two men approached him and asked, “Are you lost?” He said “yes.” “Don’t worry we’ll drop you at your house,’’ they replied. Peter sat in their truck and suddenly fainted. After a few hours, he found himself in a truck with around twenty teenagers, some struggling to untie themselves and some giving up. After two days, the vehicle finally seemed to stop and they got out of the truck which was none less than heaven for all the kids. However, they didn’t know that hell was waiting for them.

Soon, they came to know that they were kidnapped for making raw cotton into the fabric and whenever they denied making it, they were beaten and not given food to eat. Initially, Peter tried to escape from that place everyday but failed every time. And finally, after one year he gave up. He worked at the factory for 5 insufferable years, where he saw some of his friends dying due to lack of nutrition, lethal injuries, etc.

Then one day a new truck came filled with teenagers. They were as shocked and scared as he was when he had come there. That night he realised that it was probably his only 

chance to escape. At midnight, he decided to hide in the truck. After a few hours, the truck started moving and he was trying to hold his breath to avoid any noise.

Unfortunately, the truck stopped. He waited for ten minutes and then ran away as fast as his skinny malnourished body could reach a crowded place.

He took deep breaths and started thinking about his next step. He decided to go to the police station but he couldn’t tell them about the place and its whereabouts. So, one of the inspectors sent him to his home but his family didn’t live there anymore. He didn’t know what happened to them but he came to know that the whole farmland was bought by a company. With no place to sleep and no skills to earn money, he started begging which disgusted him as a child. One day, he came to know about a vacancy in a construction company. He went to the job site and begged for a job. While seeing his situation, the company hired him as they were in dire need of workers. Today, it’s been 7 years and he is working as a site manager for the same company.  He bought his own house and lived a happy life with his loving family of a wife and two kids.