Khadija is 41 years old, and moved from her village in central Bangladesh to Savar to find work in the garment industry. She was an operator for Ithertex Garments in Rana Plaza, and was inside the building when it collapsed.
She cannot remember what happened that day because she suffered a brain injury and memory loss, but she was fortunate to have survived. She is determined to stay away from the garment industry, and has received training and assistance setting up a small business by BRAC, an international development organization founded in Bangladesh over 40 years ago. She now runs a small grocery shop, which provides her more independence and a decent income. She hopes to expand in the future and be able to afford a better life for her and her two teenage sons.
Khadija is one of the lucky ones. She survived a tragedy brought on by the negligence of one of the world’s largest industries. As a result of the collapse she was given enough assistance to start building a better life for her family, but it should not take a tragedy to make stories like this possible.
If garment workers were kept safe and paid fairly, their work would be not just an income, but a foothold in climbing out of poverty.
Workers who make livable wages are able to save and invest in their family’s future. The work they do becomes an opportunity to climb the economic ladder.
FairWear is committed to building a better garment economy, with efforts like the FAIR Shirt Project where work with dignity brings a brighter future to the world’s hardest working poor.