Story of Rana Plaza Survivors and BRAC’s Support

The 2013 collapse of a multi-storied commercial building named Rana Plaza is a deadly structural failure and the worst garment factory accident in Bangladesh. During the collapse many workers died, leading to a national and international outcry. Emotions and consciences were severely stirred. Civil society, students, community-based organizations, government, non-governmental organizations came forward with social and economic support for the victims. BRAC Limb and Brace Centre (BLBC) provided prosthetic limbs and braces to a number of survivors with critical conditions immediately after the collapse. Survivors also received other assistance in various forms like follow-up treatment facilities, psychosocial counselling, and monthly monetary support. Few survivors have received livelihood skills training from the Disaster, Environment, and Climate Change (DECC) program. This study aimed to understand the situation of the victims after one year of disaster and to see how they materialized BRAC’s support they received so far. This study was done using multiple data collection tools and techniques of qualitative research methods. Collected data were analyzed with the thematic framework technique. Findings revealed that the survivors were severely traumatized experiencing the accident and their psychological stress was further catalyzed by feelings of disempowerment followed by societal attitudes towards them because of physical impairments incurred by them. They were going through extreme financial hardship due to joblessness and other vulnerabilities and were struggling to meet the costs of basic needs and of treatment, medicines, and rehabilitation. Female survivors with physical impairment were more vulnerable than their male counterparts because of existing societal norms in the country.

Authors: Rahman, Atiya; Mehrin, Nawra; Mallick, Utpal; Mukta, Umme Salma
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2015