Video Volunteers have been working on the issue of the Tea Garden workers for a long time now. There are layers of issues with the operations and labour practices of the tea gardens; these issues revolve around their job structures mostly.
But this video is a story of success, a story of a small win against a giant corporation. A story of persistence and a never-say-die attitude. This year, the workers of 3 gardens in the Alipurduar area of Kumargram Block, received a slightly increased yearly bonus, an increase of 3%, from 17% to 20%.
In the Bengal area of Eastern India, the yearly Durga Puja is a big social occasion and the entire population looks forward to attending and celebrating it. The increased bonus of 20% in this Durga Puja time brought a sense of relief to the workers, they have a hand to mouth existence otherwise, all year round.
The interviews in the video shows the aspiration of the workers when they were speaking to our correspondent, that they could buy a set of new cloth for their children or pay the school fees, such is the state of their indigence.
This increased Bonus did not come on a platter, they had to do constant Gate Meetings (A kind of protest, of jamming the main gate of the garden till their demands are met), sending representatives of Trade Unions to their management, and having several meetings with the management for their justified demand. When the Garden Management announced this increment, the whole area of Kumargram celebrated. This is the workers' hard earned money, they toil throughout the year, in heavy rains and in all the extreme weather conditions. They deserve this increment.
Please share this video for awareness about the toil of the Tea Garden workers. And let's remember this video as a reminder to be mindful of whenever we have tea.
Avijit Adhikary is a journalist with nearly 8000 days of field experience till date. In the past two decades, he has witnessed the ebb and flow of the media industry in India, with ripples felt in his region too. This includes the rise of digital media, the decline of print...