Industry Desk: Bangladesh ranks second in the global readymade garments exports with $42.61 billion exported in FY 2021-22. The sector employs 4.4 million workers, of whom 60% are women, mostly migrated from rural areas for better livelihood. Government, NGOs, CSOs, brands and buyers are engaged to promote the workplace safety and compliance in the RMG sector.
BRAC has been conducting comprehensive well-being activities through three One Stop Service Centres (OSSCs) located in Tongi, Gazipur, and Savar. In partnership with 30 RMG factories, city authorities, and life insurance company, BRAC ensures quality healthcare service, legal aid, skills development training and job placement, and financial services, such as mobile banking, DPS, and health insurance.
Online service through Maya App on health, legal, psychosocial counseling, and COVID-19 related safety awareness and early childhood cum daycare facilities also available through OSSC. The services contribute to RMG workers’ attentiveness, high productivity, low absenteeism, reduced dropout, etc. The centres remain open six days a week, including Friday.
One Stop Service Centre (OSSC) is an wellbeing model for the RMG workers where we have provided following service under one umbrella-
– Primary health care
– Skills (SMO) and employment
– Legal Aid
– Financial inclusion (DPS, Health Insurance and Financial Literacy)
– Early Childhood cum Day care service.
– Online health and legal services etc.
Like a Garments worker is working minutely in a sewing machine at the ground floor of a two-storied building in Tongi area, that has turned into a little of readymade garment factories.
Learning from her husband that there is scope of availing free or paid training programs in this area, She chose to enrol into a training courses, as she knew the knowhow is essential before she is eligible to apply for a job.
Apart from Tongi , OSSC activities are involving 30 garment factories, officials linked with the project said. Sk Mojibul Huq, Programme Manager, Urban Development Programme. BRAC
Speaking to reporters at the center in Tongi, said they had conducted a study on the project and found that 90 per cent of the workers received low-cost services and were coming to the center. Need a more collaboration and support from factory, brands, association and others for strengthening RMG workers,added Mojibul Huq.
Terming the project as an exceptional initiative, According to industry insider, “Brac’s activities have tremendously helped the garment industry workers,”. He also said that the legal aid segment is working to provide legal assistance to the garment workers.
According to BRAC, although such services are offered separately through different initiatives across the country, no other organization is providing so many services at the door for one garment worker.
Besides, the OSSC under BRAC Urban Development Programme works at the community level to improve their living conditions by ensuring their access to affordable basic services, safe and productive livelihoods, affordable and safe housing, climate change resilience, and sensitizing their rights and entitlements.