Many survivors’ conjugal life shattered

Rashad Ahamad | Published: 00:40, Apr 24,2019 | Updated: 00:45, Apr 24,2019

 
 

Rana Plaza collapse victims and their families light candles in front of the memorial set up on the accident ground during a commemoration ceremony of the fatal event at Savar in Dhaka on Tuesday. — New Age photo

Conjugal lives of many injured survivors of Rana Plaza collapse have been shattered in last six years since the world’s worst industrial disaster occurred at Savar on April 24, 2013.
Several injured survivors told New Age that since losing limbs in the disaster they could not return to active life.
Most of them are worried about their future as the government took no initiative to provide their treatment or rehabilitate them.
They said that their life became burdens on them with no support coming from anywhere.
Rana Plaza collapse killed at least 1,138 apparel workers, mostly young girls and 2,000 others were crippled.
A recent study by the ActionAid Bangladesh reveals that 51 per cent of the survivors remained jobless over the last six years as their physical and mental conditions don’t permit them to work.
The study also shows that 49 per cent of the survivors became self-employed or some of them got jobs.
New Wave Style Ltd’s quality inspector Shirina Khatun was one of the lucky ones to survive losing both her legs.
Being paralyzed, Shirina now lives at her village home, Kapalidanga, Dumuria, Khulna following long treatment at different hospitals.
Her husband Mizarul Islam was with her for some time but he divorced her in June 2018,’ said Shirina in tears.
She said that so long she could give him money from the limited compensations she got her husband was with her.
Shirina needs support to walk.
The eight-storied Rana Plaza housed five garment factories on six floors and there was a shopping mall and the branch of private bank on the ground and the 1st floors.
Feli Bagum, sewing machine operator in the same factory is luckier as her husband Hashu Miah did not divorce her though he married another girl, Minara.
Feli told New Age that she lives with her co-wife at Rajashan, Savar.
‘My husband, Hashu is kind to me and our only daughter Bithe, though I can do no household work as I need support to walk,’ said Feli,32.
Since the Rana Plaza disaster, life became unbearable for 25-year old Roksana.
Roksana told New Age that she has been left all alone with a six month old daughter, since her husband Tofazzel Hosen remarried.
‘And my only daughter Afsana Akter Mini died 18 months ago and ever since I lost all interests in life,’ said Roksana who lives with a cousin at Uttara needing to consult doctors as she also lost both her legs.
Mahmudul Hasan Hridoy’s dreams for happy conjugal life was destroyed when he was barely 25 as his wife Yasmin Akter Eti left him three days after they got married.
Rana Plaza disaster crippled him by taking one leg and Hridoy spent 18 months at hospitals and needs crutch to walk.
With some financial support he opened a drug store at Savar it was shut down as he could not remain present every day, said Hridoy of Manikganj.
According to Savar Rana Plaza Victims Survivors Association of Bangladesh, the marital ties of at least 13 couples were broken by the Rana Plaza disaster.
But the association representatives told New Age that the number of breakups could be much higher.
At least two women in their 20s who survived the disaster with crippling injuries said that their husbands remarried without divorcing them.
‘Afraid of losing my identity, I requested my husband not to divorce me,’ said a 23-year-old woman, mother of a minor boy.
They say that initially they could not guess that their husbands would divorce them, but as they could give monies to their husbands they ultimately ‘divorced us’.
Many survivors narrated their family crisis began over the limited monetary assistance they had received from different organisations and individuals.
They demanded their rehabilitation and exemplary punishment of those responsible for the Rana Plaza disaster.

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