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Mourners, rights activists throng Savar

  • Published at 07:28 am August 3rd, 2013
Mourners, rights activists throng Savar

A workers' rights committee on Friday established a memorial monument for the workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse at the building's site.

Injured workers of the factories of Rana Plaza inaugurated the monument.

The committee, made up of representatives from several leftist groups, also held a meeting, a rally and a cultural programme at the site. Several victims of the collapse and relatives of missing workers spoke at the meeting.

The coordinator of monument organising committee Ashish Corraya told the Dhaka tribune: "Police blocked us from erecting the monument several times. They told us that there was no permission from the authorities to build a monument here."

"But as so many lives have been lost here we did not care about any permission. The workers also supported this and they donated money to build the monument," he added.

Another organiser, Nahid Sultana Lisa, said, "The government will have to ensure exemplary punishment of the building owner and the garments owners as this incident is not an accident, it is obviously a mass murder."

"The government must pay the injured workers, missing workers' families and ensure their rehabilitation," she said. The organising committee also distributed leaflets stating 15 demands among the people and the workers present there.

Around 1,000 injured workers and missing workers' relatives gathered at the Rana Plaza premises for the event. Many of them complained that they did not get any kind of compensation from the government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Sadal Hossain, father of missing worker Raza, who used to work on the 4th floor of the building, said, "We are yet to get any kind of help from the government and the due salaries of my son which the government and BGMEA are supposed to pay. We do not the body of my son who was the only earning member of my family and also do not get any help."

"When we went to government officials they told us the government would only give us compensations after getting the DNA reports," he said.

Another injured worker, Parvin, recovered from the 4th floor of the rubbles of Rana Plaza four days after the collapse, told the Dhaka Tribune, "What I got from the government when I was in the hospital has already been spent for my treatment. Now that I am home, I am not getting any help from the government or BGMEA."

"Eid is knocking at the door. How are the workers and their families going to celebrate Eid? Many of our injured workers are the only earning members of their respective families," she said.

Many injured workers said they could not return to work yet because of injuries and mental trauma. They urged for government's help to rehabilitate them.