Last year, I met a few of the Bangladeshi garment workers who survived Rana Plaza. I heard their stories, and today, on the one-year anniversary, I feel the need to share one of them. This is really a story of mothers and daughters. A year ago today, more than 1,134 Bangladeshi garment workers went to work and didn’t come home. Fearful of losing their jobs, they entered a building they knew was unsafe. They died crushed by the rubble.
The woman was crying and saying something in an incomprehensible manner. I was sitting there, a couple of feet away, wondering what I had said wrong. The man sitting beside her didn’t react to her sudden burst of tears – she is his wife and he has gotten used to seeing her like this. My colleague Lusana and the BBC documentary producer Sarah both went quiet for a while.
Uncertainty and vulnerability are hallmarks of life for the world's poor, in low and high income countries. Collective action helps on different levels, across different dimensions of life, to overcome.