Thousands of workers lost their lives in the Rana Plaza massacre. Some of them died, while some went “missing”. The death toll was 1134, or 1136, or 1175, or even more. Among these thousands, here, in the chapter “The Cries of Lost Souls,” we will introduce you to only 10.
Baby Akhter, Matiur, Shomapti, Shaheena, Soudat, Marjina, Liza, Shaon, Shanta and Sagorika – their stories tell us that they also loved their lives, cared about their families and friends, had dreams and dignity like others - but all of that has been buried under their identities as workers.
When we went out to collect their narratives on the field, they shared with us their stories of happiness, sorrow, and courage; we, too, became a part of their stories. We felt strongly that we should collect all of their stories, but our limited resources did not allow us that privilege. Even so, we believe that the stories of these 21 workers will reflect the struggles of others. Through their stories, we will know how their lives and dreams were massacred - all because they came to this city in search of a better life. We will begin to comprehend the difference between their dreams and their realities. We will know the agony and grievances of their relatives and dear ones.
The narratives for this chapter have been collected from the families of the workers. Their oral stories were collected, transcribed and then translated to the best of our abilities to reflect their real voices. Some have been written by the family members themselves. The story of Shagorika, for instance, was written by her sister Bokul, and that of Shantona by her sister Selina. Some of the information for this chapter has been collected from family members who were with their loved ones till the very end.