Plan Helps Children Affected by the Savar Building Collapse
Four days after the worst building collapse in Bangladeshi history, crowds have been begun to dissipate in Savar, a sub-district near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. A couple hundred people remain. Family members hold up photos of their missing loved ones. A few children are also present. Some are accompanied by family members, while others are alone.
Nur Mohammad, 12, is one of these children. Alone, he repeats, “Have you seen my mother, Sultana?” No one knows the answer.
“There is no one to accompany me, so I have come alone to look for my mother,” he says. His mother is one of the hundreds of garment workers still unaccounted for after the collapse of the Rana Plaza Building.
The eldest of three children, Nur has suddenly found himself in charge of his siblings and has the responsibility of finding his missing mother. When asked about his father, Nur says, “My father left us a while ago and married another woman. Where would I find one to come with me?”
The search for his mother is further complicated by the fact that he does not know the type of duties his mother performed while working at the factory.
There are hundreds of children, like Nur, whose parents are missing, injured, or killed. Regardless of the three categories, their futures look grim and uncertain.
Plan Helps Children Affected by the Tragedy
Mindful of the long-term needs of these children, Plan and Save the Children have teamed up to create help desks at Enam Medical College and Adharchandra High School in order to assist children in finding their parents and aid those who have parents that have been injured or killed in the incident.
In addition to the help desks, a child-friendly space has also been established to protect the children from harm and aid them in regaining a sense of normalcy.
A joint team representing the organizations has been collecting information from different hospitals and government agencies about affected children. The idea is to undertake a comprehensive project that will address the needs of the children and develop interventions accordingly.