A Single garment – In memory of the Dhaka clothing workers
“All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.” Martin Luther king, Jr.
PEMA CHODRON BOX – WHEN THINGS FALL APART
The shirt I’m wearing in the photo below was made in Bangladesh. I checked the label because the shirt was such a low price – $2.99. It was the first of only a few times I`ve ever been in Wal-Mart. I urgently needed a clean shirt!
I really like the shirt, although now when I wear it I’ll think of it not just on my back, but also on the backs of Bengalis, “Tied in a single garment of destiny.”
The minimum wage in Bangladesh is $38.00 per month. A person working 25 days per month will earn a mere $1.52 a DAY. I wouldn’t want to try to feed my family with that!
When people hear about the Bengalis poor building and labour standards, although intuitively we know it’s wrong, what else could we expect in paying $2.99 for a nice shirt. Unless of course, it`s from the Goodwill thrift store.
Let us remember that Bangladesh has had a traumatic history. It began its nationhood in 1970-71 in deep division with Pakistan. Over 1 million Bengalis were murdered during the reign of terror and civil war.
More recently Bengalis have suffered from climate change, including extreme flooding and droughts. Their low lying landscape is one of the worlds most vulnerable to rising sea levels. And yet in terms of causing climate change, Bengalis are basically innocent, because they burn very little fossil fuel.
This is what my desktop looked like as I wrote this blog. The child in the picture has only a few crumbs.
For the younger generation:
The Concert for Bangladesh, was conceived by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, and held August 1, 1971. It was the first ever benefit concert of such magnitude, and by 1985 proceeds sent as humanitarian relief to Bangladesh were were estimated at 12 Million dollars.
BANGLADESH – by George Harrison
Bangladesh. Bangladesh. Such a great disaster,
I don’t understand but it sure looks like a mess.
Now please don’t turn away, I want to here you say,
“Free the people of Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh. Bangladesh. Now it may seem so far from where we are
it’s something we can’t reject, it’s something I can’t neglect.
I want you to give something to stop this pain,
We got to relieve Bangladesh.
With consideration of all this tragedy – and currently 324 people are confirmed dead – let us practice humility. Let us practice compassion. Let us practice ethical spending.