The report takes note that “the tea garden workers in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars do not have land or ‘Parja-Patta’ (land rights) on their ancestral tea growing lands. To dwell on their ancestral homes, they must send at least one family members to work for the tea company. On failure to send a family member for work, they lose their rights to live on their ancestral lands. Since the land rights are vested with tea company, there have been instances when the aged workers having no children were denied the right to even repair their houses on their ancestral lands.”
Darjeeling Tea Industry
Tea workers of the region are working below minimum wage, and over the years systematically all of their facilities have been stripped off. In order to support and sustain their family, they are forced to do small scale animal husbandry and horticulture. This is in addition to 12-14 hours of back-breaking labour every day.