Fifty-one per cent of Rana Plaza survivors have remained jobless for last six years due to physical and mental weaknesses while the rest 49 per cent are engaged in various types of jobs and self-employment, according to a survey conducted by ActionAid Bangladesh.
At an event titled ‘Commemorating the 6th Anniversary of Rana Plaza Building Collapse’ held at BRAC Centre Inn in capital Dhaka on Tuesday, the non-government organisation released the report of the survey on the current situation of Rana Plaza survivors.
Of the 51 per cent who claimed that they could not get back work, 74 per cent were suffering from physical weakness and 27 per cent from mental weakness, the survey report said.
In the survey, ActionAid used a database of 1,400 survivors and followed up with 200 over phone and sought information on their physical and psychosocial well-being and overall income condition.
The survey found that the condition of 20.5 per cent of the survivors was getting worse, that of 51 per cent was more or less stable and that of 28.5 per cent was completely stable.
‘Of the 20.5 per cent who reported that their condition was deteriorating in the current survey listed headache, pain in hand and leg, back pain as some of the major problems,’ the report said.
In terms of psychosocial health, the survey found 10.5 per cent of the survivors were still in trauma in comparison to 22.5 per cent in last year.
The survey found the average monthly household income of 20 per cent respondents was up to Tk 5,000, that of 44 per cent Tk 5,001-Tk 10,000 and that of 21 per cent above Tk 10,000.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza, which housed five apparel factories at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka, collapsed on April 24, 2013, leaving at least 1,138 people, mostly apparel workers, dead and over 2,000 others injured.
ActionAid manager Nuzhat Jabin presented the report while International Labour Organisation country director Tuomo Poutiainen, parliament member Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies senior research fellow Nazneen Ahmed, Centre for Policy Dialogue research director Khondokar Golam Moazzem and Socialist Labour Front general secretary Rajekuzzaman Ratan spoke at the event.
ActionAid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir moderated the event.
‘Following the Rana Plaza building collapse, the ILO-coordinated Trust Fund introduced a compensation package and there was a discussion about the RMG sector institutionalising the system but it did not happen,’ Moazzem said.
He said that a move was taken by local and international stakeholders regarding living wage but it had failed to bring any fruitful result due to the reservations from factory owners.
Moazzem suggested addressing some non-wage issues including housing and education facility for workers’ children along with wage issues.
Tuomo said that following the Rana Plaza building collapse Bangladesh readymade garment sector made significant progress in terms of workplace safety.
Requesting the stakeholders for continuous investment in the areas of workplace safety and security issues, the ILO country director said that establishment of a culture of occupational health and safety was very important.
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