4th Day of Rescue: Improved and Optimistic   Leave a comment

On the 4th day when I went there second time for photographing. I saw some epic heroic acts- an electrician from a garment factory crawling inside a precariously standing pile of rubble to find survivors. A garment factory worker went down under several stories of ruins to pull out 4 survivor and dead-bodies and succeeded despite injuring his foot. A young men injured during rescue continued his work. A textile engineer from Comilla, a trained volunteer of Red-Crescent, was working for days in the site and rescued survivors. But, definitely the pivotal role of the rescue was played by the fire-fighters. Though many efforts were spearheaded by volunteers from public  but fire-fighters were also working shoulder to shoulder with them. They were the main facilitator of the rescue. The way they worked relentlessly with limited resource is super humane. But the toughest of all were the survivors who lived through all disasters beyond all speculations and gave the rescuers opportunity to work. The combined effort has perhaps made it one of the most extraordinary rescue operations. I saw some comic pieces too- an young army officer leading a group for the search of survivors was a bit demanding about his personal gears and made his men change those so many times and the number of people and time he consumed for those could probably be totaled into a mini-rescue. However, I saw a much more organized operation at 4th day. Military officers were more active and they were working in coordination with the volunteers and fire department. They were more active but their inexperience and lack of preparation and motivation for such work were still visible. By this time supply chain was also organized and necessary things were stored in adequate quantity. It was very promising because it shows the rescuers and their leadership were responsive to the opinions from different quarters, they were learning from their experience and they were trying to improve their performance. This part I think is particularly important- learning and improving performance.

Yet, the role of some media and photography professionals were far from desired- they were quarreling with the rescuers, disturbing their operation peeping their noses (lenses) to far, and making dangerous maneuvers to get photo, which could put in risk not only themselves but also all the rescuers.

However, some of the new concerns has emerged- the survivors are affected not only physically but also psychologically. They need medical care as well as psychological support. They need long-term psycho-somatic rehabilitation support too. Not only the victims but many of the rescuers are also injured and signs of post traumatic stress disorder are also developing among them. They need care for some period too. Now we have to focus on these issues. And still remains the question of punishing the perpetrators of this crime and the preventive measures to avoid such disasters in future.

Therefore 6 more suggestions for disaster management-

The government should provide-

1. Long-term psycho-somatic rehabilitation support to the survivors

2. Long-term  rehabilitation support for the survivors with disabilities

3. Treatment and psychological care support for the rescuers to treat injuries and present post traumatic stress disorder

4. Adequate recognition and reward for the volunteers and professionals for their exceptional roles in rescue

5. Taking adequate measures for preventing such preventable disasters

6. Making legal provision and practice of tougher punishments for the perpetrators responsible for such disasters

Rana plaza; Garment factory collapse

Rescuers pulling out rubble with buckets from many storied down to free survivors.  Photo: © Abu Ala

Rana plaza; Garment factory collapse

A volunteer Garment Worker is preparing to crawl through the pockets of rubble to search survivors. Photo: © Abu Ala

Rana plaza; Garment factory collapse

A volunteer Garment Worker is having some food after pulling out survivors from the deep of collapsed building. Photo: © Abu Ala

Rana plaza; Garment factory collapse

A volunteer Garment Worker is entering through an opening in collapsed building to search survivors. Photo: © Abu Ala

Rana plaza; Garment factory collapse

A volunteer Garment Worker is preparing to crawl through the pockets of rubble to search survivors. Photo: © Abu Ala

Rana plaza collapse

Heavy lifting and rescue machinery are deployed but could not be used to avoid further collapse to save lives of survivors. Photo: © Abu Ala

More Photos –

4th day in Rana Plaza: Where at humanity remain triumphant at the end. Still they live, still they are pulled out from the rubble—


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