Nutrition key to boosting capacity of female RMG workers
Nutritious food always plays an important role in booting the immune system. So for a sustainable development of a country, a nation needs more nutritious food. Look at the developed country world and you will see they have no lack of nutritious food, in fact they always give importance on this.
But a large number of our people, especially females, are suffering from malnutrition. According to Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN, about 43 per cent female workers of Bangladesh's ready-made garments (RMG) sector are victims of malnutrition. The malnourished condition has reduced their working capacity as well as the productivity by upto 20per cent.
Hence, it is very important to ensure nutritious foods for the workers for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is needed to face the challenge of malnutrition as it causes economic loss, hampering the national development. Providing nutritious foods for workers at their workplaces and raising awareness on nutrition issue can help achieve the SDGs.
Munni Akhtar, an operator of Denim Expert Ltd, Karnafuli EPZ, Patenga, Chattogram, is an example of maintaining good health through intake of nutritious diets, which were provided at her workplace under the Nutrition Security for Vulnerable Workers (NSVW) project.
A total of 15,500 workers will be supported through the five rounds of grants under the project. The majority of workers will be from the RMG sector and the rest of them would be from food sectors, salt, fishery, and cold storage workers. Till August 2021, round-4 has been completed and around 14500 workers have been reached through this project. Among them 51 per cent were female and 49 per cent were male workers. This project supported Denim Expert Ltd.'s 2500 workers among them 1400 were females and 1100 were males.
Munni was the direct beneficiary of the NSVW project, which has completed the food distribution of round-2 for the vulnerable RMG workers.
To learn about the benefitted workers, the factory announced that it would welcome the workers who have been benefited through this project. Then some workers showed enthusiasm to express their benefits of the project and its impact on their personal as well as family life.
Munni Akhtar said that in between breakfast and lunch it was a quite long time to work without having any snacks. Usually, Munni like other workers used to have some biscuits or bread with or without tea in breakfast and sometimes she skipped this meal. Hence, she felt tired and sick in most of time. When this snack distribution started, she received a healthy diet item during this time and felt better than before.
According to her views, 50 days of healthy and diversified snacks strengthened her body dramatically. Due to her weak physical condition she could not take care of her children and family properly, which resulted in conflict with her husband.
Now she feels more energetic to do her work compared to earlier time. Now she has the ability to concentrate on her work at the factory as well as her home.
Regarding the snack for a short time under the project, she said we are habituated with this and have got a positive result, which changed my life. She told that she will continue taking this type of snack at own initiative when this project will be closed.
Besides, she has decided to arrange nutritious foods for her family members.
Realizing the importance of such food, she is also motivating nearby people in her area for taking such food.
The author is a freelance writer