Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Of Labor, Love & Sweatshop
Fyodor Dostoevsky once said:
"To love someone means to see him as God intended him."
For me, expensive items Nike or Adidas clothing from sweatshops has been a global issue this year especially in country like Bangladesh's, where garment industry is the main source of income for its citizens.
Robina, an 18-year-old teenage girl, has been a factory worker at Western Dresses for about two years and earns 900 Takas, or RM 40.00, a month for making 150 pieces of back pocket flaps for Nike tracksuit, an hour. Her normal working day included sitting on a little wooden stool for 16 hours, inhaling the dust off the factory floor and being surrounded by the heat of the overcrowded factory.
"If you made any mistakes or fell behind on your goal, they beat you."
"They slapped you and lashed you hard on the face with the pants."
Maksuda, a 19-year-old and a single mother, has been a factory worker since she was 11. She became pregnant with her daughter at age 17 and found herself unable to keep up with the rapid production of goods. Her manager noticed her slow down and said that he didn't want to hear her excuses about being pregnant. She worked until she was eight and a half months pregnant and tried to ask for a legal maternity leave but was told that there was no law for this in the factory. She had to quit her job and take out a loan to cover costs for the delivery of her baby. Soon after the birth, she had to go back to work and begin paying off her debts.
"He violently kicked her, hard, in the stomach and she fell to the floor. She fainted."
There are about 1.3 million garment workers in Bangladesh but no union exists with a legal contract in any one of these factories. There are many established labor laws in Bangladesh, but none of them are applied in society because the local owners believe that they themselves are the law.
Take a look at the clothing store; and put an effort now to make sure that the clothing that you bought is not made from sweatshop labor like Robina or Maksuda.
Perhaps, love will finally softly for them, for the labor and for the mankind.
To you whom I have met, you're the love of my life. I really believe that before you and me bump to each other in future, we were half a person. There is an old myth about people being half and the other half being in the sky, or perhaps just a mirror image. But for me, we are two halves, and together we're a whole. That's what I feel about us.
Even though we are far from each other, true love is like a blossoming lavender, it is a long wait, but when it blossomed, we will enjoy the air of serenity and love within it. The moment you click into this notes, kept that in your heart that I had fallen in love with you way before we met each other in real life. For that my special someone, you and me, we shared a groovy kind of love together.
385 love notes and counting.Loving you Sabrina,
The Half Moon Serenades.