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Bangladesh: Trapped beneath the rubble

Nabiel Ashraf, Director of Communications and Resource Mobilisation, Save the Children in Bangladesh

The additional income Taslima earned from being a garment factory worker was supposed to pay for her three-year-old son’s future education.

But after sustaining a compound fracture to her pelvis and back bone, Taslima is not sure when she will be able to work again.

The 24-year-old was working on the 8th floor in a garment factory in Rana Plaza when the building collapsed on 24th April 2013.

Trapped beneath the  rubble

Taslima first instinct was to hide herself under her sewing machine. As the roof came crashing down, Taslima’s life was saved, but she sustained major injuries.

It took rescuers about half a day to pull her out of the rubble and transport her to the Emergency Unit of the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dhaka.

The death toll from the Savar building collapse now stands at over 700 as rescue workers continue to recover bodies from the rubble. So far, about 2,440 people have been rescued.

“Who will look after my child?”

“I don’t know what will be. Who will look after my child?” Taslima said.

The family was surviving on the income of Taslima’s husband – a garage worker – until two years ago. The couple hoped that the additional income could help give their son an education and a better life.

“We don’t know whether she will be able to work or not… it will be really tough for her to work in future,” said Shamima Nasrin, a nurse at the National Orthopaedic Hospital.

Supporting children

Save the Children, in partnership with Plan International, has set up helpdesks to support children affected by the tragedy.

We have also gathered information on children affected by the disaster from bedside interviews with injured people, and we are providing some limited assistance as required.

While few children were directly harmed in the disaster, it is clear that – as expected – significant numbers of children will be indirectly affected as a result of the death or incapacity of their parents.

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