100 odd workers of the garden had volunteered to work on a Sunday.

At a time when Assam’s tea industry is hit hard by lockdown, a tea garden in upper Assam’s Charaideo district is being paid back by its workforce with gratitude.

The workers of Kolakata tea estate near Sonari in Charaideo district took up the spades and wheelbarrows to manure and clean up the 60 hectare garden, free of cost on Sunday.

Manager of the garden, Hidayat Khan, told Northeast Now over phone from Kolakata that 100 odd workers of the garden had volunteered to work on a Sunday to weed out and manure the tea bushes which had for about a month been lying neglected due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain novel coronavirus.

He said that they had a very loyal workforce.

“At a time when several gardens were witnessing unrest due to nonpayment of labour wages resulting from complete stop of production due to the lock down, it was heartwarming to see the workers of the garden so willing to work free of cost and that too on a holiday,” Khan said.

He further said that the garden management had only arranged for lunch to be served to the workers.

Mridul Baske, president of the workers’ union, said that it was out of gratitude that they had come out to help the management reduce losses at this hour of crises.

“We have always been well taken care of by our manager and director Amitabh Barooah and this is the least we could do to ease the burden of loss that the garden is sure to have due to the lockdown, ” he said.

Baske further said that in Kolakata it was never them and us but there was always a feeling of empathy.

“We are all in this together and we will work together to come up trumps again,” he said.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com