Impact of textile and clothing industries in Ashulia, Savar

Md. Imdadul Haque       
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In Bangladesh, textile and clothing technology is playing a major role; almost 82% of our total exports cover from RMG sector. It has great impact on the economy of Bangladesh such as contribution of an important portion in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and contribution to the GNP (Gross National Product). Economic empowerment also happens especially for women, because 80% of the garments worker are women.

Bangladesh-Ashulia-SavarThe major impact of textile and clothing industries are industrialization, urbanization and environmental pollution. Thus, many jobless youth get employment opportunities in this sector.

Ashulia is an area within Dhaka district under Savar upazila has now become a textile based area and have all types of textile and clothing industries. This area is one of the densely populated industrial areas in Bangladesh. Textile Today investigate this area to portray the impact of industrialization on the lives of the people living here.

Md. Ramzan Ali who is a local person in this area says, “It is like a dream to see how this area is being changed, we could never imagine of such change before”. He says this area was a large jungle. A few families were living here. “Our main occupation was agriculture. But we didn’t get sufficient crops. Here, soil color is red and most of all places was craggy. When the textile industrialists came, they bought our high land. We bought lower land for cultivation and got involved with job and small business. Now we have everything. Thousands of people get their job in this area. School, college and many private university permanent campus with other many types of factories have in this area, like Dan Cake. Now, we live better life than before.” Added Md. Ramzan Ali.

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Figure: A knitting factory located in Ashulia, Savar, Dhaka

Another garment worker Bakul Miah has been living in this area for last 10 years. His wife also works in a garment factory. He says, “Garment changes my life. When I was 25, I couldn’t find a single job in my village or district. Then I came to Dhaka and got a job very easily though salary was very low. But I can survive myself and feed my family. Ashulia area has thousands of family like me. I’m working now as a supervisor in a garment factory. I have two children who are studying in school. I send money every month to my parents.

In this area, there are more than 300 textile factories and almost 90% inhabitants of Ashulia depend on these factories. Many are directly working there; many others are supplying raw materials or doing business in the supply chain. Many others are involved in businesses basically grown for the industries’ presence over there.

Habib, is a larges grocery shop keeper talking to Textile Today, informed that he put a small tea stall here almost 10 years back. He has witnessed a rapid change in these years and alongside his tea stall transformed into a large grocery shop. “I have seen to grow many industries here and so many people came here to work in those factories. And so many small slums like households have been developed meanwhile. And we easily could increase our business over the time. The change is quite rapid.”, Habib told.

air and water polution
Figure 1: A large portion of Ashulia water body is engulfed by brick fields causing huge air and water pollution.

However there are other impacts as well. Saeed is a Dhaka resident has been visiting Ashulia area for almost 20 years. While he was sharing his experience told that Ashulia area was like a breathing space for Dhaka residents. “Many of Dhaka residents were spending their afternoon and evening beside the water bodies of Ahulia. Many were going for boating. In rainy season Ashulia was like a sea. The highlands of Ashulia were all green and cool. I have seen abundance of vegetables, fish and fruits being produced here and coming to Dhaka those days. By now Ashulia water bodies are almost all black and the highlands are becoming grey. Uncontrolled an unplanned industrialization has engulfed a serene Ashulia and has given us a busy, crowdy and messy Ashulia.” Saeed was telling to Textile Today.

Textile industry completed its four decades in Bangladesh and continuing its growth. Thus, textile industry is making a revolutionary change in every side of Bangladesh economy and life style etc.

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