By Mahima Kaur
SHOCKING images show the child and adult brick workers who are paid just £4 to work for up to fourteen hours per day to produce bricks for export overseas including the UK.
Images taken in a brick factory in Narayangan, outside Dhaka, Bangladesh show the conditions of workers, some of which are just five years-old and their resilience despite their tough working conditions.
Images show brick workers working in clouds of dust to earn their daily bread.
One of the images shows a brick worker managing almost a dozen heavy bricks on his head. Another image shows little kids offering help to their family in these dire conditions.
The UK sources most of it’s bricks from Belgium and other European nations, however because of the tightening of construction materials firms have been forced to look further afield to India and other South Asian nations such as Bangladesh.
According to a report by dsastertrade.org, brick
Nearly 20,000 people work in brick fields in Bangladesh for 12-14 hours each day without basic working standards, including women and children aged just five.
The workers have to periodically resort to making makeshift huts and thus are always devoid of basic sanitation and hygiene.
The exploitation of children doesn’t stop at just being reared at these sites. These children actively participate and work as labourers carrying these bricks and helping their families.
The children’s lungs, that are not even entirely developed, are constantly exposed to such dust-filled conditions that are a storehouse of toxic fumes.
The constant unrelenting exposure to such conditions shortens the lifespan of these brick workers, for money that is often less than four pounds for a day.
These images were captured by Ingrid Koedood (51) using a Canon 5DSL and a 24-70mm lens.
“These people didn’t mind when I asked to take a picture of them,” said Ingrid.
“Families live next to the factory in very small houses.
“I want to show the world the life of these people who live and work under bad conditions.
“The people everywhere are always complaining without realising how blessed they are to live in a world with opportunities, good health care, education etc etc.
“It is incredible to see the energy of these people.
“They don’t have access to a balanced diet, clean drinking water etc.
“The life expectancy of these brick workers is low because of the dust.
“A lot will die at a young age because of lung diseases.
“They have to work very hard and earn little money. They earn only a few taka in a day.
“I wanted to photograph them with a humanitarian perspective and to give these people who live in bad conditions a voice.
“There was so much dust that my camera was showing errors all the time.”