Saturday, 11 May 2013

Let's Change The Way We Shop

Wednesday 24th April was the worst industrial disaster to hit Bangladesh in its history claiming over 1000 lives. According to reports, this is the worst industrial human catastrophe in Asia since the collapse of Bhopal in India in 1984. The eight-storey building known as Rana Plaza collapsed whilst workers were in the building producing garments. The army general official in Dhaka revealed that, 2500 people were rescued from the site and many were injured. However, there is no accurate record of people on site at the time to determine the number of people still missing. This is still a great concern, as many relatives camp outside the site with the hope of reuniting with their loved ones. Absolutely deplorable!

On Friday 10th May, a young lady by the name Reshma was rescued from the rubble after seventeen days in it. This is an incredible story of survival, hope, persistent and faith. Not many were quite lucky or blessed to be out there alive after so many days. Reshma claimed she survived on dry food and bottle water. There are so many important, yet unanswered questions from both the Bangladeshi authorities and the EU. EU authorities claimed that changes will be administered in agreement with Bangladesh officials to ensure safety of workers. This seems like a logical deal, considering that, garments produced in this factory are made for large retailers in developed countries. At present, there is huge distrust between government officials in Bangladesh, media and the community in regards to the lack of cohesion and consistency in their messages.

At the moment, only one positive move has been made. The arrest of Rana Plaza owner- Mohammed Sohel Rana and seven others. From research, it appears that Mr Rana is allegedly a criminal who made his success by exploiting vulnerable people in his own community. The vice-president of Dhaka district Awami League, Ashrafuddin Khan told the BBC that, "Rana controlled an underworld gang in the area, and used it to run drugs and extortion business. If the authorities were aware of his actions, why was Mr Rana not investigated? 

Unanswered questions:
1. What triggered this incident?
2. Who will be held liable?
3. What was the age range of workers at Rana Plaza?
4. What were their working conditions?
5. How are you affected by this disaster?

I hope that you can find it within you to share your views. I know it is disheartening but, if we talk about, it might change the way we view the world. "Let's change the way we shop". 
Let's talk.

Article credit: Eighteen Forever

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