The Diseased City

OSH Conditions of Occupational Health and Safety in Faisalabad, Pakistan

Film by Ammar Aziz

While crossing the ugly, narrow streets one finds countless small, wooden doors, almost on every wall. They are sometimes locked from the outside, but you can hear a continuous, disturbing noise echoing from these rooms. This haunting noise is the outcome of those power looms that run with the sweat and blood of tens of thousands of workers. If you dare to enter any of the small rooms, you would feel as though you have entered a machine.

The noise levels created by machines remain way too higher, crossing all the maximum limits, without any hearing protectors for the workers. This results in hearing problems amongst the majority who work there. The walls say it all; they are full of cotton dust and silk web, causing dangerous lung diseases amongst the majority of people who work here. Welcome to Faisalabad, Pakistan's major industrial city, with no basic human rights for workers.

Mohammad Bashir has been working there for the last 50 years and he's 65. "90% workers here suffer from TB and several other diseases'', Bashir, a victim of Tuberculosis himself, tells without any glimpse of hope in his eyes. The film portrays a few workers of different age groups, all suffering from dangerous diseases, related to the nature of their work and due to lack of even the basic health facilities.


Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan in collaboration with Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)