Rozina Akhter, 30, was stuck under a beam during the Rana Plaza incident. She shares, "Before the Rana Plaza accident, I earned my own money and lived my life in my own way. But now I am stuck at home as a handicapped person. I cannot do anything without the help of another person.
Shobuj Hosain Ridoy (23) with his mother. He was a volunteer during the Rana Plaza Collapse. “We heard the story about liberation war about many dead people, But didn’t ever see with own eyes. But when Rana Plaza collapsed, we felt like we came into a war zone. I feel proud to take part in this battle.” His mother said.
Mohammad Ashraful Islam Sujon Mia came from Lalmonirhaat to the big city of Savar hoping for a positive change in his life. Before starting work at Rana Plaza, he had previously worked for seven years in another garments factory. He was experienced, and capable, but never could he have imagined or prepared for the atrocity of the collapse which would disable him for life.
“When I bring my child to the site of Rana Plaza, I tell him, “there was a time your father worked here, amidst a war, to try to save the lives of many people and saw a lot of death and destruction around, and even if he was not able to rescue everyone, he tried his best,” shares Riaz Sheikh, a Rana Plaza volunteer.
Fazle Rabbi’s father said, “Whenever I go in front of Rana Plaza, I feel like my son will come back suddenly. It feels that my Rabbi will return to me and I can find my son again. But I know he is no more. I see so many other children his age, and my heart aches for him. My elder son told us to change our house but I denied him. I told him this house is attached with my son’s memories and I will not leave this place at any cost.”
On the day of the Rana Plaza collapse, Raihan Kabir, 24, was stuck under a heavy machine that is used to sew jeans and pants. It fell down on his legs, and he was entrapped for 14.5 hours until he was finally rescued. She shared, after taking me to the hospital, leg was aching so much that I could not tolerate it. I told them to amputate my right leg. After another operation the doctors amputated my leg.
Rabeya Khanam, a victim of Rana Plaza collapse laying on her her mother’s lap. Rabeya is now 18 years old but was only sixteen at the time of the tragic incident. Her mother said, “My two daughters were missing and like any other mother in the world, I thought I will never find her again. I was continuously praying to Allah so that I can have both my daughters back.”
Amena, one of the victims of Rana Plaza disaster, was both lucky because she could get out from there alive, and at the same time she was unlucky because the physical and mental trauma caused by the horrible experience changed her forever.
Fazle Rabbi was killed in Rana Plaza collapse. His mother said, he had lots of dreams for himself and us. He promised he will improve our condition in the future. But my son went somewhere from where he will never come back. My son was very fond of me. He would always say that he does not need anything except caring about us.
“One of my hands and both legs are paralyzed. I can’t walk now. I received injury on my head. There are too many health complications now. I feel a headache and suffer from fever very frequently”- Momota is sharing her current state of existence as a victim of Rana Plaza Incident.
Shilpi: Coming out of hell after four days Shilpi Begum used to work as a sewing operator in the third floor of Rana Plaza. Shilpi said, “We couldn’t live if they didn’t rescue us on the fourth day. We didn’t even get water to drink. We were severely hungry. At last we chewed paper as there was no food to eat. Even I licked the sweat of my own body."
The collapse has left Sujon Mia completely disabled, and dependent on his wife. He cannot walk, nor can he properly sit. He is handicapped in many ways and suffers from constant aches. His wife, Rina Begum, has been a savior within his darkness. She quit her job the day Rana Plaza collapsed to take care of her husband for 7 months.
Mosammat Rehana Akhtar, originally from Jessore, migrated to Savar in hopes of bringing about change to her difficult life. She worked at New Wave Textile Limited on the 7th floor of Rana Plaza. In the horrific accident, her leg was buried and had to be amputated in order for her to survive.
Rozina Begum, another survivor of the Rana Plaza collapse, lost her entire left hand during the collapse. She had to saw it off herself, while stuck under a beam.
Jewel Sheikh is one of the victims of the Rana Plaza incident. He lost a leg in that accident and the other one is not working properly. Jewel Sheikh came to Dhaka from the northern part of Bangladesh.
Mohammad Chancal, 14, started working at Rana Plaza when he was only twelve years old. Being tall for his age, he was perceived as older and given a job in the garments factory. On the day of the collapse, he, too was in the building with his mother, Sharvanu, but on a different floor. This incident has caused severe consequences on his physical and mental health today. He struggles with agonizing chest pain, as well as articulation of words, as he has developed a severe speech impediment after the collapse
Ismail Sikhder prays at his wife's grave. He lost his wife when Rana Plaza collapsed. Her name was Nazma. She was 37 years old. They came to the city from Barishal. Nazma took a job inside Rana Plaza and she died when the building collapsed.
Taslima Akhter is a survivor of Rana Plaza Collapse. She is one of the many unfortunate victims of the avarice of the garments factory owners, is struggling to live a normal life again. Taslima started working in garments factory again as she had to carry on with her life. She said, “For the last two years I worked in GK garments to ensure the cost of my brothers’ education. I can’t work anywhere other than garments factories, as I don’t have any other experience."
Islam Sheikh is a chauffeur and he was rescuer in Rana Plaza. "I saw people yelling for help to rescue them while sleeping. Since I’m a professional driver, I got disoriented for imagining such things. Even I lost the roads and started driving towards wrong way. I lost my way many times and dragged into wrong way. As well as I didn’t notice the speed breaker”
ID card of Shipli Begum. She used work in Phantom Garments LTD, in Rana Plaza Building. She was rescued aliveafter 4 days of the collapse.
Monir Hossain Tushar, almost 18 years old now, was younger (16) but as wise when he left secretly to volunteer at Rana Plaza. He felt a societal obligation to take action for those who were suffering. He says, "When I got to know about the Rana Plaza collapse, I initially went there to donate blood. But after I reached the destruction site, I realized that I can be a part of the rescue team and actively help victims."
I don’t feel like leaving you here but I have to go back for granny. Don’t worry about Mom. You will find her alright." Nazma’s daughter Ariana wrote this letter to her father when Nazma was stuck under rubble and they did not know if she was alive or not. Nazma's husband always carry it with him in his wallet.
“My future plan is to make my daughter a doctor. Since I had her I dream of that. I want her to treat everyone.” Nazma now lives with her husband Ashraf and daughter Ariana. She has a job and big dreams about their future.
Sheuli AKhter Shila and her husband Mohammad Alamin. Sheuli was worker of Rana Plaza.
Mahinur Akhter (15) is one of the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse. She used to work in Fantom Factory on the 4th floor. Mahinur was 13 when she started working inside Rana Plaza, and by the time the building collapsed she had worked there for 3 years. All her friends were killed by the disaster, but she survived.
Mosammat Sharvanu, rescued after 3 days, had lost all hope of survival when buried under the rubble of Rana Plaza. She shared "After a few hours, I woke up to realize my throat was heavily parched. Then I felt liquid dripping down and slowly I started licking it. It was only once it reached my mouth did I taste it to realize it was my own blood streaming down from my head. I thought it was water, but it was my own blood that kept me alive."