The tea garden workers despite working for generations, are still deprived of their right to land – Parja Patta, they are paid less wages than what other workers, even unskilled labourers make in West Bengal, the facilities they are entitled to are rarely provided. Adding salt to their woes, the WB Govt has allowed the tea garden owners to build commercial real-estate labeling it “tea tourism”.
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.
We welcome tea tourism policy whole heartily with the adequate enforcement of standard protocols and norms on the allocable vacant land without zero compromise in the plantation area. As specified, the prime objective of the policy is “to enhance investment for generating employment opportunities for the local community for their inclusive sustainable economic development and prosperity without any hindrance to the social-fabric and ecology.” We wish our region to flourish into prosperity however development at the verge of risks of lives, loss of property and damage to environment will not tolerated be at all.