This article was written and originally posted by Adrianna Tan of Popagandhi.com
It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. This morning, we awoke to tragic news that two workers had died while building the Downtown Line in Bugis. They were buried alive by cement while pouring wet concrete into a mould. The scaffolding collapsed. They were stuck in the cement and the rescuers had some difficulty prying their bodies out. Investigations are now saying that the wet concrete was almost as heavy as a swimming pool. (link) Whatever the outcome, and whatever its impact on our labour practices will be, there is simply no other way to put this: these guys came here to build our nation, often at great risk to their lives.
Singapore is what it is today because of the migrant workers that have built our structures, poured our wet cement while we were sleeping, dug and laid our roads. It was true when it was Samsui women doing that, and it is even more true now that we have migrant workers from China, Mongolia, India, Bangladesh and other countries coming here in droves in search of a better life, offering their services to us at minimal cost and maximum risk.
As Miyagi said, these guys are doing our national service.
A bunch of us spent all of this afternoon trying to figure out how we can do our part to help. We spoke with various government ministries, who are doing what they can on their part, and to organizations. The organization Transient Workers Count Too, which promotes equitable treatment for migrant workers in Singapore, stepped in. They’ve offered to take in donations for the victims. I must stress that as a non-profit registered under the Societies Act with experience in managing and disbursing donations, they have the structures and practices in place that Miyagi, mrbrown and I do not have. If you have queries about the accounting practices and methods of fund disbursement, feel free to reach out.
In the meantime, what we would like to do is to create an avenue for those of you who want to help to do so. The money goes towards the families of the two deceased workers, as well as to the injured workers who are unable to work while they recover.
This is how you can donate:
Make a crossed cheque payable to: ‘Transient Workers Count Too’, write your name and “Bugis MRT Accident” at the back of the cheque and mail it to: 5001 Beach Road, #06–27 Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, cheque no., amount and “Bugis MRT Accident”, so that the donation can be properly recorded and a receipt sent to you.
BY SGGIVES (ONLINE)
You can donate using your credit card here. A small commission is charged by this donation collection agency. Under the “Special Occasion / Person” field, type “Bugis MRT Accident”.
BY PAYPAL (ONLINE)
You can use your Paypal account or credit card to donate here. However, a commission of 4% or so is charged on every donation. There is no field for you to input the purpose of donation, so it is advisable to drop twc2 an email after you’ve donated by this method.
Whatever small amount you can offer goes a long way.