• Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:33 pm

Covid-19: Bangladeshi migrant workers step up in Singapore

  • Published at 11:39 pm October 26th, 2020
Billal Khan
Billal Khan, creator of Facebook group Overseas Foreign Workers in Singapore COllected from Facebook

These workers helped their communities tackle the Covid-19 pandemic through various means, from raising awareness to coordinating with NGOs

Several Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore have taken up leadership roles during the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the health and welfare of their communities.

These workers helped their communities tackle the Covid-19 pandemic through various means, ranging from raising awareness to coordinating with non-government organizations (NGOs) to distribute masks, according to Malaysia-based English newspaper the Straits Times. 

One such migrant worker is Billal Khan, 28. Billal works on Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit line by day, installing noise barriers along viaducts throughout his 11-hour shift.

By night, he supervises the Facebook page he created in April: Overseas Foreign Workers in Singapore.

On the Facebook page with around 5,000 followers, Billal shares Bangla translations of news articles that the workers may find useful, such as updates on the pandemic and where to find free top-up cards. He even translates some of the articles himself.

Furthermore, Billal has partnered with NGOs such as Geylang Adventures and Migrant Matters to deliver essential items to the workers, including 6,000 masks, 3,000 Singtel top-up cards, 1,000 bottles of soap and shampoo, and 100 mattresses.

Zasim, 27, is another migrant worker in Singapore who stepped up during the Covid-19 pandemic. After being appointed as an ambassador of Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC), the safety supervisor answered about 30 calls a day from workers who were worried about their salaries. 

When Zasim was diagnosed with Covid-19 and admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in May, he posted videos of his recovery process on Facebook to assure other migrant workers that they would be well-cared for if they contracted the coronavirus.

Once he had completed his recovery, Zasiom worked with a student-led initiative called Migrant Support Group to arrange pillows, detergent, instant noodles, coffee, cereal and other essentials for migrant workers. The group managed enough donations to deliver care packs to 1,000 workers.

Bangladeshi health and safety supervisor Ahmed Amad, 34, was appointed by his employer to oversee 100 workers staying at his company's factory-converted dorm.

After taking charge in March, he worked with NGOs such as MWC and Transient Workers Count Too to arrange for masks, fruits and other items to be delivered to the workers. 

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