The video, The Ship Breaker, narrates about men who toil and bare with dirty and perilous work, in the city of Chittagong on the Bay of Bengal. They earn as little as one Us dollar. Just like in any other port, ships dock at the shoreline. They then disassemble each part of the ship. They remove metals and take them to the furnaces to for melting and shaping into steel rods.
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The complex design of the ships makes the work a herculean task. The ships are water-tight and durable. Some of the materials used for ship building are also hazardous. It makes their job risky and unsafe. Toxins, oil and sludge continue leaking into the nearby seas as they undertake their work. (CBSNEWS.com/Video 2007)
In my view, provision of jobs to the locals is the main rationale for the ship breaking industry in Chittagong. Majority of people in Chittagong lack jobs. The people rely on the industry as a source of livelihood. They derive their revenue from the ship breaking occupation. This industry employs many people and supplies Bangladesh with steel.
The industry also contributes to profit maximization for the ship breaking companies. The people provide cheap labor, which reduces the costs of production and increases company earnings.
The business is a cheap source of labor for ship breaking companies. It is unlike using sophisticated technology to break ships that could increase the costs of inputs. The companies get labor from the locals who simply use hands to break the ships. A portable gas burner, which uses a bust of oxygen to intensify heat and burn is the only technology they use. They carry heavy metals and also work at night.
In conclusion, the justification for the ship breaking industry in Chittagong is the provision of employment, cheap labor, profits for companies and production of steel for Bangladesh. Extreme poverty characterizes the city of Chittagong. The people depend on informal employment that pays little revenue. One of the dependable sources of income is the ship breaking industry.
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