Jhalo Orang, winner of the best plucker (female) award from Brahmaputra Valley of Assam plucking leaves at the Goodricke owned Orangajuli tea estate in Udalguri. Image: Northeast Now

A sense of euphoria has gripped the tea giant Goodricke owned Orangajuli tea estate in Assam’s Udalguri.

Despite hardships and adversaries in the fight for life with a basic remuneration of Rs 167 a day, a female plucker has fetched widespread recognition to the garden and the tea company.

She is a lady of action, hard work, sincerity and dedication are the word synchronizing her personality.

Meet Jhalo Orang, aged around 34 years and winner of the best plucker (female) award from Brahmaputra Valley of Assam is a role model for other garden workers.

She is fondly called as ‘Ulo’ by her co-workers and she is the talk of everyone in the sprawling tea estate.

She is bestowed with the award constituting a wooden plague and certificate sponsored by the Labour Department of Assam.

The award was presented by state chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal on the occasion of Shramik Kalyan Divas at Kothalgoorie tea estate in Jorhat recently.

“A mother of two, her husband Domnick Kujur works at a cinema hall in Chennai,” said the lady garden supervisor, Monica Nag.

“She has bravely combated the odds, is educating her sons in convent schools, and also giving her best at work,” the supervisor added.

“She never remains absent braving vagaries of weather. Ulo is a role model for other female pluckers,” Nag reiterated.

“For Ulo the day starts at 4 am. After finishing all household chores, she comes to the factory at 7 am works there till 4 pm,” added Nag.

“She always wears a smile, reaches on time and cycles with 150 other female pluckers,” says Monica.

Jhalo Orang thanking the Assam government for the award said, “It is a mixed feeling for me, though it was like a fairy tale on the day I received the award from the chief minister, I expected that I will be rewarded with financial help as that is what matters most for a tea garden plucker like me who wait every week till Saturday to receive wage of Rs 167 with moist eyes.”

“My work is my religion, I always remain devoted to my work which have fetched me this recognition, my only ambition is that my children get good education and at least one of the two serves the estate as Babu”, she added.

Senior assistant manager, Ashish Sood, of the estate crediting the prosperity of the garden to workers like Jhalo said, “It is sincere guidance and wholesome effort of the present general manager, Talat Ahmed and the team of workers that we are doing good in every spheres.”

In 2019 the Orangajuli Tea estate has produced 15,15000 kg tea with  pluckers productivity standing at 6.20 kg which has surpassed all the previous records of the tea estate.

Orangajuli tea estate is a garden owned by tea giant Goodricke Group Limited, an India-based tea producing company headquartered in West Bengal.

It is a part of the Camellia PLC UK – the world’s largest private sector tea producer.

The company has a total of 12 tea gardens in Assam with 10 in Brahmaputra valley and two in Barak valley.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com