To ensure that social distancing and safety measures are put to place amid the resumption of normal functioning of the tea estates in Udalguri district the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), Mangaldoi branch have streamlined a series of awareness drives across the 22 tea gardens under its jurisdiction.
As a part of the effort, secretary of ACMS’s Mangaldoi branch, Santiuse Kujur along with its office bearers have visited the tea gardens and held interactive sessions with management authorities and garden workers to ensure the compliance of standard operating procedures (sop) as laid by the district administration and also maintain contact with administrative officials on regular basis.
Talking to this correspondent Kujur said, “I have already visited Nonaipara, Borengajuli, Hattigore, Majuli, Bhutichang, Orangajuli, Dimakuchi, Attarikhat, Dharamjuli, Corramore, Panery and Budlapara Tea estates and will cover the rest in a couple of days.”
He further said, “The early resumption of the garden amid the second phase of lockdown was the need of the hour as the tea garden workers were facing lots of hardships to sustain themselves, moreover as there have been restriction in entry of outsiders in gardens the workers have been put to work maintaining social distancing norms and have also been wearing masks.”
“We are paid wages of Rs 167 by the industry much lower than other sectors and if the work would have not resumed hunger would have killed us earlier than coronavirus,” said Madhabi Bhumij, 45, a tea worker of Dimakuchi Teas Estate and a mother of three.
Another worker, Mungamati Das, 42, said, “We were expecting hike in wages prior to lockdown but the pandemic have washed away our hopes as we don’t think hikes will materialize now.”