Assam: Tea gardens are being rationed to ‘low quality’
Israil Nanda, the central vice president of the National Front of Indian Trade Union, claimed that ABC Tea Workers Welfare Service has been providing inferior, inconsumable and foul-smelling rice and flour for tea garden workers over the last few years.
“The government should prohibit the ABC Tea Workers’ Welfare Service from supplying tea garden ration. Many tea estates lodged complaints against them regarding their supply of inferior quality ration that is not suitable for human consumption. Recent protests were led by workers when Kharjan Tea Estate and Daisajan Tea Estate in Dibrugarh received inedible food rations from the same supplier. It seems that the ABC Tea Workers Welfare Services acts more as a mouthpiece for some unscrupulous mill owners and commission agents. Nanda stated that they demand strict action against them.
These agitating groups also called for an increase in the minimum daily wages of tea-garden workers to be raised from Rs.205 to Rs.400. The agitators also asked the government not to import tea but instead promote export. “We appeal also to the government for an end to tea bush destruction and the sale of tea plant land for any other purpose. Nanda stated that tea gardens should also have a doctor because there are not enough medical facilities.