The National Garment Workers Federation held a vigil in front of the National Press Club on Tuesday to express solidarity towards the orphans who lost their parents in the Rana Plaza collapse five years ago.
Almost fifty workers, including the families and children of those who lost their lives in the collapse, lit candles as a symbol of hope for the future of all garment workers.
They also demanded the procedures for guaranteeing a safe and secure environment for all garment workers remain uninterrupted.
The families also demanded permanent residences with monthly stipends. According to them, due to death of the sole breadwinner in their families, they can barely maintain their livelihoods with the compensation they are receiving now.
President of the Federation, Amirul Haque Amin, said: "We demand an Employment Injury Protection Scheme be implemented for all labourers that work in risk-prone sectors, including garment workers.
"At the same time, we demand the creation of a new compensation law," said Amirul. "Also the establishment of special cells for the treatment and rehabilitation of all injured labourers."
12-year-old Bijoy, who lost both of his parents in the collapse, said that he wants to continue his studies. However, his grandmother said that she will not be able to continue his education with the compensation she is receiving at the moment. Many such families were present during the vigil.
Bruno Deceukelier, Asia Coordinator of World Solidarity, WSM, who was present at the ceremony said: "We have to put emphasis on ensuring the safety of the workers in this country. Due to their low wages, the compensation they receive based on it is not enough to sustain them. We need to create separate systems for the children of those workers who died or got injured in the Rana Plaza collapse."
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