Rana Plaza Tragedy
Speakers at a programme stressed the need for establishing functional Safety Committees at all garment factories in the country to ensure occupational health and safety of the workers. The function titled “Commemorating Rana Plaza Tragedy: Present OSH Situation in the RMG Sector and Way Forward” was organised by the Solidarity Center-Bangladesh Office at Hotel Asia, Paltan in the city under its USAID’s Workers’ Empowerment and Participation (WEP) Activity to commemorate the Rana Plaza Tragedy. Also read: BGMEA, CNN willing to team up to promote Bangladesh RMG industry The speakers said that it has been long nine years since the worst tragedy in the RMG sector in the country. Still there is a long way to go in terms of improving the health and safety conditions in the factories, they said. Addressing the function Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labor and Employment Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan said, “We have the responsibility of finding the weaknesses of Safety Committees and resolving them accordingly.” There can neither be any negligence in their work nor corruption”, she said adding, the stakeholders have to identify the needs of Rana Plaza victims and assist them accordingly. Advocate AKM Nasim, Country Program Director, Solidarity Center, Bangladesh Office, said after Rana Plaza tragedy, Accord, Alliance and now the RSC are working for a safer workplace. “We have advanced a lot but still how much the safety committees in factories are able to function is a question. Worker representatives should be allowed to play a stronger role in Safety Committees”, he said. Advocate Nazrul Islam, Program Officer at the Solidarity Center in his presentation highlighted that research needs to be conducted on weaknesses and challenges and how to make Safety Committees functional. Also read: Let’s join hands to create brighter future for RMG industry: BGMEA He added that it is extremely vital to build the capacity of the members of Safety Committee on Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) through training, orientation, learning visits, etc. Professor Dr. Jakir Hossain said that institutional and legal framework should be strengthened to prevent any accidents in future. Nazma Yesmin, Director at BILS, said that the injured victims should be given long term medical treatment and health care facilities. Salauddin Shapon, President of Bangladesh Revolutionary Garment Workers Federation (BRGWF) said that a lot of actions were taken to overcome safety issues in the past few years but now the development has become stagnant.. Participants called for improving fire safety arrangements for the workers and introducing trade union and Safety Committee in all the garment factories. Advocate A.K.M. Nasim, Country Program Director of the Solidarity Center, Salauddin Shapon, President of Bangladesh Revolutionary Garment Workers Federation, Dr. Jakir Hossain, Professor at Institute of Bangladesh Studies, Rajshahi University, Nazma Yesmin, Director at BILS and Advocate Md. Borkot Ali, Deputy Director (Legal) of BLAST spoke at the event. Representatives from USAID, ILO, SKOP, NCCWE, Sajeda Foundation, BLF, Labor Court Bar were also present in the event.
Closing in on the 9th anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, over half the victims who survived with injuries report their physical condition as worsening - quadrupling from just 14 percent who reported the same one year ago. Among the 56.5 percent who reported their physical condition as worsening in the latest survey, waist pain, headache, pain in hand and leg, and back pain were some of the major problems. According to ActionAid Bangladesh, who have been conducting the surveys periodicallythe trend from previous surveys showed that the physical health status of the survivors was slowly improving over the years - but COVID-19 has reversed that progress. A third of the survivors, or 33 percent, are more or less stable, and 10.5 percent are completely stable. In terms of psychosocial health, 48.5 percent are still in trauma in comparison to 12.5 percent survivors last year. Read: Rana Plaza victims get support from Brac amid Covid-19 Currently 31 percent reported that they are more or less stable, and 20.5 percent have recovered fully compared to 25.5 percent last year. These findings were revealed in a survey conducted among 200 survivors ahead of the 9th anniversary of Rana Plaza tragedy. The current unemployment rate of the survivors is 53 percent while 47 percent survivors are engaged in various types of wage and self-employment. Among them, 67 percent of survivors are unemployed due to their physical condition and 10 percent have mental trauma. Survivors tend to change work frequently as their physical conditions do not allow them to work for long-periods at a time. According to the survey, 14.5 percent survivors have returned to garments with another 8 percent involved in tailoring while many of the survivors shifted to other pr-ofessions like domestic work, day labour, farming, and agriculture, sales and driving. The survey found that income of most of the employed survivors have drastically decreased due the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A large proportion, 63.5 percent, of survivors said they had difficulty to buy food for their family in everyday during pandemic because they did not have the money to buy food. Read: Rana Plaza murder case: Trial begins 5 years after charge framing Over half, or 51.5 percent, said they couldn't pay their rent, and 22.5 percent said they couldn't afford childcare. Nearly half, at 46.5 percent, of survivors had to take out a loan to manage their family's food and other expenses during the pandemic. A total of 36 percent said their household income is less than Tk 5,000 while 34 percent have a household income between Tk 10,000- 15,000. Some 35 percent of survivors reported that their monthly expenditure is over Tk 10,000, and 30 percent have above Tk 15,000 with major costs incurred for food, followed by house-rent, children’s education, and treatment.
Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB) - The 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, the worst-ever tragedy in the country’s multi-billion-dollar ready-made garment (RMG) industry, is being observed on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic. This year, there will be no outdoor programmes to recall the victims due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Read Why Rana Plaza owner’s bail shouldn’t be stayed, asks HC Different right bodies, worker organisations and left-leaning political parties, including Rana Plaza Survivors’ Association, usually arrange various programmes every year, remembering the tragedy. On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an illegally-constructed building in Savar which housed five garment factories, came down crashing, killing 1,138 people and injuring over 2,000 others. According to the survey conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh, the physical health condition of 14 percent of survivors is getting worse. Also read: 57pc Rana Plaza survivors remain unemployed: Survey Among them, 58.5 percent are more or less stable, and 27.5 percent are completely stable. Most of the 14 percent survivors reported that they are still bearing a headache, pain in hand and leg and back pain. In terms of psychosocial health, 12.5 percent are still in trauma in comparison to 10.5 percent survivors last year. Currently, 62 percent reported that they are more or less stable, and 25.5 percent have recovered fully compared to 21 percent last year. A total of 4.5 percent more survivors have improved their mental health than last year. Also read: HC issues rule on why Rana Plaza owner should not get bail These findings were disclosed in a virtual dialogue titled ‘COVID-19: Challenges for the Rana Plaza Tragedy Survivors’ on April 22 organised by ActionAid Bangladesh in memory of the 8th year of Rana Plaza tragedy. The survey was conducted among 200 survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse.
The High Court (HC) on Monday issued a rule seeking explanation as to why Sohel Rana, the owner of the ill-fated Rana Plaza that collapsed in the deadliest incident ever in the history of should not get bail in a murder case filed over Rana Plaza tragedy that had claimed 1,134 lives.
The 7th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, the worst-ever tragedy in the country’s multi-billion dollar ready-made garment (RMG) industry, will be observed on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic.