Scrapped: the deadly business of dismantling ships in Bangladesh

Ok, so the other day I ran across this short documentary that just crushed me. I mean. Not literally crushed… liked it did many of them. But mentally and emotionally crushed.

I’m getting ahead of myself. The documentary “Scrapped: the deadly business of dismantling ships in Bangladesh” tells the story of boneyards where shipcracking is undertaken. Shipcracking, Ship recycling… what have you. We all love recycling. We adore the idea of salvaging materials and keeping from raping the planet of yet more resources. Right? But I had no idea some of the world’s poorest countries are used to break these ships down. And this work is tragically dangerous. To hear their stories just is so amazing.

“Welcome to PHP, which stands for Peace, Happiness, and Prosperity. We don’t allow filming inside because there is so much negativity. We don’t know if you are negative or not. No one gets hurt here. Maybe bruises and scrapes, etc. But no one gets hurt here.” (Cut to) “I’ve seen dismemberments, people being crushed, limbs torn off. We pick up the pieces and throw them away.”

And the people that work in these factories? They are desperately in need of the work. Parents with cancer and completely incapable of work. And so children go and work in these terribly horrendous conditions. It’s unbelievable really. It’s basically a modern day slavery situation. Oh, but guess what? You can watch the entire movie right here. Right now! You are welcome. And to think… you’ll be a better person afterwards as a result. I promise. It’s my free gift to you.

This movie reminds me of a movie the organization I work with put together a couple years ago. It’s called 58 – which refers to Isaiah 58. And it highlights the stories of three different families in extreme poverty and their situations. The one that absolutely blows me away is the story of the family that works as slave labor in the quarries breaking rocks. Literally, breaking rocks.

I think we in the west are just so accustomed to the worlds of luxury that we don’t even know just how spoiled we are. Like, literally spoiled. Do you have running water in your house? Yeah. Spoiled. Doors? Spoiled. Locks?!? Woah. You are blowing my mind here. WinDOWS!? WAHHHT? You have WINDOWS in your house?!? Double paned? With air conditioning and a two car garage? Wi-Fi and two fridges? One in the garage, one in the kitchen, because, gah! No space for all that FOOD!?!?

I’m joking with you a little… but not a lot. Seriously. The stories of these people in these movies are way more common than you’d prefer to realize. When we were in Haiti a couple weeks ago we saw men on the side of the street breaking down a totalled jeep over the course of three days. When they started we were thinking… there is absolutely nothing left of value on that frame? Oh, how we were wrong. They kept cutting and cutting and cutting, until every shred of metal, and valuable was completely removed, stacked, and hauled away. Just unbelievable really.

But my only point with throwing these two movies at you is to challenge you to realize just how lucky you are. And to consider helping someone else that is less fortunate than you. No idea how to start? Maybe sponsor a kid today at Compassion.com. hahaha. See what I did there?

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