Bawana Fire Tragedy: 10 Of 17 Dead Were Women


Delhi saw one of its biggest tragedies in recent times when a massive blaze killed 17 people and injured several in a few firecracker units in outer Delhi’s Bawana industrial area. Of the 17 dead, as many as 10 were women. Do you know why? The factory owners employed women workers at a lesser pay.

“Women are preferred for packaging jobs because they rarely unionise, which makes it easier to exploit them, pay less. They often don’t ask for too much money, and rarely agitate. Since the work doesn’t require too much physical effort, factory owners don’t want to hire men and pay Rs 9,000-plus,” International Federation of Trade Unions general secretary (Delhi) Rajesh Kumar told IE.

Women—who are exploited in their families in the names of tradition and rituals—see the exact same behaviour in the outer world also.

The women earned Rs 5,000-6,000 for eight hours, and about Rs 3,000 more if they did overtime

The fire that broke out brought wreaked havoc on the families, many of whom lost the sole breadearne. One of the women who died was identified as 18-year-old Rita. Her brother Deepu recognised her from her nose ring and bangles. Her relatives found her body at Rohini’s Dr B R Ambedkar Hospital.

“She would have been home by 5.30 pm, but decided to do overtime. She earned Rs 5,000-6,000 for eight hours, and about Rs 3,000 more if she did overtime,” said Deepu.

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Another worker, Sunita, jumped off second floor to save her life and is deeply injured. Firefighters took her to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital after they found her. But the hospital referred her to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.

“She has fractured her hip bone but doctors are not telling us about her condition. She is badly injured, but we are thankful to God that she is alive,” said Sunita’s son Mishri Lal, Firstpost reported.

“My mother told me that she was working on the second floor when smoke started engulfing the premises. All the workers started panicking and running. She managed to get outside where Prakash asked her to jump to save her life.”

After Sunita getting injured, Lal remains the sole earner of his family as his father is differently-abled.

Picture credit- India TV

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

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