Have things changed since Rana Plaza collapse killed hundreds of Bangladeshi garment workers?

Ananya Mukherjee-Reed head shot

April 24 will mark one year since the occurrence of the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry, which took place in the Rana Plaza near Dhaka, Bangladesh. With more than 1,130 Bangladeshi workers dead and 2,500 seriously injured, it provoked a pervasive global debate. One year on, where does this debate stand? Have things changed? Have alternatives emerged?

Ananya Mukerjee-Reed
Ananya Mukherjee-Reed

Political science Professor Ananya Mukherjee-Reed will discuss some of these issues in her talk, “A year since the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh: What does it mean for ‘us’?”, on April 3 at 6pm at the Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Dr., Toronto. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

The talk is part of a collaborative lecture series hosted jointly by York University and the Noor Cultural Centre, and organized by the York-Noor Chair in Islamic Studies, currently Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo.

“We all thought it is necessary to do what we can to reinstate the discussion on Bangladesh,” says Mukherjee-Reed. “In the Political Science Honours Colloquium that I am teaching this year, my students did a simulation on Bangladesh. It became clear to me how deeply concerned young Canadians are about the issue. But, unfortunately, to date Canada’s response has been far from satisfactory.”

The York-Noor Chair in Islamic Studies was established in 2003 with a gift from Toronto’s Lakhani family to meet the growing demand for courses and scholarly research on Islam.

Through the lecture series, York and Noor are collaboratively able to provide regular access to notable academic scholarship to the community.

“It has been a delight to work with Noor President Samira Kanji and her team – Khadija and Azeezah Kanji. They are continuously trying to bring into the public forum issues of social justice, gender equity and the like,” says Mukherjee-Reed, author of Human Development & Social Power: Perspectives from South Asia (Taylor & Francis, 2008).

Kanji also finds the partnership important, saying, “We are extremely proud of, and gratified by, this relationship with York.”

For more information, visit the Noor Cultural Centre website.