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Rubia happy over getting compensation though dreams shattered in boiler explosion

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Everything was going well for Matiur, 30, along with his wife Rubia Khatun and their four children after getting first month salary against his work at M/S Akbar Re-rolling Mills at Munshikhola of Shyampur in Dhaka city.

Matiur, son of Akkel Ali of Chitholia village in Shribordi under Sherpur, was a hard worker and always kept him dedicated to his work though he was a new one in the mill as he joined there in a day of October, 2007.

In the meantime, the dedicated young worker had made a new dream for his four children so that he could ensure their schooling and other necessities.

But the dream of Matiur and his family was shattered as the boiler of the re-rolling mill exploded with a big bang around 4:30am on January 1, 2008 while he was working, leaving him seriously injured.

He was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries about 10:45am on the day.

A report on the death was published in the daily Somakal on January 2, 2008.

Based on the report, a team of investigators of Safety and Rights [the then Bangladesh Worker Safety Programme] visited the spot on February 10, 2008 and found the same fact on the explosion and came to know that the owner of the mill did not give Matiur’s family compensation of Tk 1 lakh as per the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006.

Later, the victim’s family was contacted several times and made them understand that they are entitled to get the amount of compensation as per the law.

Later on September 16, 2008, a case was filed with 2nd Labour Court of Dhaka seeking compensation from the mill authorities on behalf of the victim’s dependants. After the hearing, the court gave a verdict on September 30, 2009 directing the owner of the mill to provide the compensation money to the dependants.

Rubia Khatun received the money in the labour court in presence of the lawyers of Safety and Rights Society and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), which gives legal support to the victims on behalf of Safety and Rights.

After receiving the money, Rubia said: “I could not first believe that this compensation is our rights. I am happy after getting the money through a long legal battle without any cost.”

“This amount of money can't be a compensation against the life of my husband but it can help me run any business,” she added.

Source: ASK Investigation-34, victim’s family members and case documents.