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Plight of tea workers continues
For long the tea gardens of north Bengal have been one of the biggest revenue earners for the state. Yet at a time when the passion for tea is reaching newer heights and India’s tea quality is increasingly being revered the world over, the sheer indifference of tea plantation companies towards their workers continue unabated.
According to the Government of West Bengal, the tea plantation workers are living in miserable condition, poverty and facing a life-threatening crisis. Moreover, owners of tea industry are very reluctant in maintaining residential areas (where most of the tea workers resides) of the tea garden. These people have been suffering due to lack of drinking water, power & sanitation. This multi-faced problem had led to malnutrition, illness and even deaths. Even the seven-point programme initiated by the Bengal government is not so effective as its reach is limited to small population of tea workers.
Owners of tea industry on an urgent basis should provide these workers with some financial support and better living conditions before it takes the shape of deadly epidemic. There is also need to frame an action plan to re-open the closed tea gardens with state government involvement in order to provide them with some employment opportunities.
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