It has been five years since the Rana Plaza building collapsed and killed more than 1,100 people, mostly readymade garment workers. While hundreds of families got lucky and found the bodies of their loved ones from under the rubble, many others did not.
Since 2013, these families, still haunted by their losses, come to the site in Savar Bazar Bus Stand area every year on this day to mourn and remember their loved ones lost.
In their never-ending search, some still hope that somehow the bodies of their loved ones will be found under the debris of the collapsed building even after all this time.
Asia Begum of Manikganj is one of them. Her daughter Shila Aktar worked at a factory on the second floor of Rana Plaza. Shila’s body was never found.
Asia, holding a laminated piece of paper with Shila’s photo, name and other details on it, was in tears standing in front of the collapse site on Tuesday.
Like her, Shahana Begum is another mother who never found her daughter’s body. She said she comes to the collapse site on April 24 every year from Kushtia.
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Shahana said she comes to hold on to the last memories of her daughter, and because she did not get to see her child’s face one last time even after she died.
Like Asia and Shahana, there are many more families to whom the deaths of their loved ones are still unbearable even after five years.
Hundreds of people, including worker leaders, activists and family and friends of the deceased and injured victims, had thronged the Rana Plaza collapse site on Tuesday to pay their respects since the morning.
Talking to the media, the grief-stricken families reiterated their demand of capital punishment for those responsible for the collapse of Rana Plaza and the owner of the building, Sohel Rana.
Earlier in the morning, several workers’ organizations had demonstrated in Savar Bazar Bus Stand area making the same demand.
They also demanded compensation for the victims of the tragedy.