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Tea Plantation Workers Put Out Call For Aid

On 15th and 16th Jan 2016, aid and medical relief camps will be set up at Kohinoor and Bagracote Tea Estate to help support the unemployed workers and their families.

Kohinoor Tea Estate was shut down in Oct 2015 after labourers blocked trucks carrying tea leaves out of the garden as they were denied Puja bonus by the management. Later, the garden manager was reported as having said that they felt “insecure and unsafe in the garden” which led to a complete shutdown of the estate. Thus, around 1000 workers were left unemployed.

Over time, Bagracote Tea Estate, owned by Duncans Goenka Group, has become infamous for its numerous worker deaths due to starvation, since it shut down in July 2015. The Duncans management failed to pay the wages of the tea plantation workers, and the managers disappeared, leaving the workers vulnerable. Soon basic facilities like ration, electricity and water supply were stopped; the hospital was shut down.

During winter, most of the tea gardens are shut down as managers leave. Hence, tea plantation workers go without work which makes their situation, even more perilous.

Students collecting money at Jadavpur area, Calcutta
Students collecting money at Jadavpur area, Calcutta

People from different walks of life are coming together to support these families. A call for help on Facebook has garnered some attention. All donations should be directed to:

Samik Chakraborty
Account no. 30187814978
State Bank of India
Branch : 01888 – BELGHORIA
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On 25th January, a convention has been organized to strengthen the call for a better life and livelihood of the tea plantation and garden workers, by Chaaybagan Sangram Samiti to be held at Bharatsabha Hall, Calcutta.
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Report by Debarati Sarkar
Edited by Manisha 

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