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Garment workers spend full income, but live miserably PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

Garments workers, who have migrated to the capital from different rural areas, spend about whole of their monthly income for their livelihood, which is far below the satisfactory level, according to the findings of a study released in Dhaka Wednesday.

The findings of the study, titled ‘impact of internal migration on certain sectors of rural and urban economies: the case of garment workers’ released in a workshop also found lack of proper sanitation system and safe drinking water for the garments workers.

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, which conducted the study, interviewed 90 workers for the study.

It found that 92 per cent of the workers had come from the rural areas and the majority of them were unmarried and independent to take the decision of joining the garments’ sector.

A total of 72 per cent of the workers are working as general machine operators and each earning about Tk 2,300 a month, said the study, adding as they are also valued clients of mobile phone companies they seek services of the mobile phone shops.

A major portion of female garments workers spend money on cheap fashion jewellery, beauty products and services from beauty parlours and a good number of kitchen markets, grocery shops, small stores and low-cost houses for renting have mushroomed to facilitate their livelihood.

The study also found that the workers had bridged the gap between the urban and rural areas and had been remitting a certain amount of their income to their families in rural areas.

But this remittance could not influence the rural agricultural production, the study said. Participants at the workshop, titled ‘migrant garment worker’s impact on rural and urban economies’ and held at the BRAC centre said although the garments workers were contributing enormously they were leading their lives miserably in unhygienic conditions due to inadequate food and water supply.

They also stressed the need for proper sanitation and drinking water supply to bring a change in the lifestyle of the garment workers.

University Grants Commission chairman Nazrul Islam, Dr Jagannath Adhikari of Nepal Institute of Development Studies, Ravi S Srivastava of National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, Government of India and Anwar Uddin Chowdhury of Bangladesh Bank spoke at the programme.

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