I met Mahinur Begum, victim at Rana Plaza garment sweatshop disaster.
On April 24, 2012, Bangladesh Rana Plaza garment sweatshop collapse killed 1,200 workers.
One young woman survived. I met her last night. Mahinur Begum spoke at a U.N. women’s symposium via interpreter Kalpona Akter, strong, leading, torchbearer personality at the garment workers’ union. I was privileged to have met sister Kalpona finally, although we spoke on the phone and over email a number of times before.
Mahinur was 15 at that time when she was trapped in the massive rubble for 24 hours before pulled out live. She lost a toe (lucky her!). Now she is 18. She lost her father two months before Rana Plaza, and now she has a sick mother (with an apparent tumor in her belly — untreated) and two younger siblings to take care of.
She is the only wage earner in the family, but now her trauma and health conditions forced her to sit unemployed. She has sporadic bleeding in her left ear, and her legs swell up if she stands for too long.
The smile on her face may deceive you, but she tried very hard last night to conceal her tears, while talking to me. She said she could not go to school after 2nd grade, because she had to work.
U.N. must be doing something good for the world, with their global, elite conferences and dinners (this is a joke, in case you don’t get it.)
I am amazed to see the strength and resilience of these women. I am awed and humbled.
The elite feminists in the Western world and Westernized East have no clue what life is really like in most places across the world.
Anyway, this is not about my personal rant against privileged women (and their men). This is about small people like Mahinur Begum. Can you come forward, and help out? I have their contacts.
Thank you for listening.
Just back from India
P.S. — Last morning, both Kalpona and Mahinur were arrested at a protest in front of Children’s Place here in NYC. They were completely nonviolent. Later, after two hours and charging them with criminal trespassing, the authorities released them. They will speak at Columbia University today, as planned. How Mahinur can hold up after yet another trauma remainst to be seen.