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Dhaka Tribune

Injured worker of Savar tragedy at last gets her pay

Update : 19 May 2013, 02:36 AM

Bilashi Rani, 20, one of the apparel factory workers who survived the April 24 Rana Plaza collapse in Savar, finally got her wage. For that, she had to come to the Bangladesh Garment Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BGMEA) office by an ambulance on Saturday.

She was a sewing helper at the New Wave Style, one of the apparel factories in the building. On the fateful day, she was on the 6th floor when the building collapsed and was rescued on the first day with heavy injuries.

She joined the work just three weeks before the disaster and her name did not even appear in the salary sheet, making it difficult for her to draw the salary.

Bilashi Rani has now got two broken bones in her waist and one in her neck. She can barely move and has been advised to take a long rest.

Speaking to this correspondent in front of the BGMEA building, Bilashi said after 25 days of the accident, she was yet to get any kind of compensation or financial aid for her treatment.

She alleged that BGMEA had denied her husband her salary several times although he had presented her ID card and other necessary documents. Bilashi was able to obtain her pay, a meagre Tk6,500, only when she herself arrived by an ambulance.

“I don’t know how I am going to survive because now I am unable to work.

“I cannot sleep because I’m scared and I can’t stay alone for a moment,” she said lying in ambulance.

“I think if I become lame my husband will leave me,” Bilashi said. Dilip, her husband, who sat beside her, did not remark at this. After her rescue from Rana Plaza on April 24 Bilashi was admitted to Sheba Clinic, a healthcare centre in Savar, and on the next day her family took her to her home district of Rangpur and admitted her to Rangpur Medical College hospital. So far she has not received any aid or compensation from BGMEA or the government.

Bilashi got married to Dilip one-and-a-half year back. They do not have any children. She joined New Wave Style after they moved to Dhaka on April 1. Her husband works in a garment factory near Rana Plaza.

Dilip said it would be difficult to maintain livelihood if both of them did not work.

“How will I take care of her if my wife becomes lame? Besides, she needs a long treatment. If we do not get any financial support her treatment will stop,” he said.

BGMEA says Bilashi’s troubles may have been due to the fact that she joined the factory in April.

BGMEA’s joint secretary (Labour) M Rafiqul Islam told this correspondent the association had only the salary sheets for March from the factories. “We already paid 2,200 workers till April 10 according to those sheets. But we did not find the salary sheets for April, which include the names of workers who joined that month.

“We have been identifying them by their ID cards, but we haven’t been able to complete their payments yet,” he said.

Rana Plaza, an eight-storied commercial building in Savar, collapsed on April 24, killing at least 1,127 people, mostly workers of the apparel factories housed there.  

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