From a Correspondent
Dimakuchi, Feb 14: The Assam Tea Tribe Students’ Association (ATTSA) Udalguri district Committee staged a two-hour picketing programme in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri district on Tuesday and demanded permanent settlement and rehabilitation of landless tea tribe families, implementation of the Plantation Labour Act, 1951 in all tea estates of Assam, to issue tiol food security scheme to all tea workers of Assam, to provide proper water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities among the tea garden workers of Assam, to provincialize tea estate primary schools and to increase student-teacher ratio in the schools.
The students’ union said that despite repeated pleas to Dispur to provide land pattas to tea garden workers, this had not happened. “We have been fighting for land pattas for over two decades but nothing has been done despite several assurances from the government,” alleged Kailash Gorh, central executive, Udalguri unit of the association.
The union demanded that the State Government should immediately allot two bighas of land for every tea tribe household. “Our agitation will continue until our demands are fulfilled. We urge the BJP-led government to immediately provide land pattas to our people,” said Biren Kisan, secretary, Udalguri district committee, ATTSA.
Amit Tanti, BTC regiol secretary, said the BJP government at the Centre should also speed up the process for granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the community. “In the gardens, our people lack electricity in their homes and adequate potable water. We ask the government to provide these facilities at the earliest,” he said. The ATTSA urged the government to stop exploitation of the tea garden community. “The community, which has been living in Assam for the last three decades, has been neglected. We demand equal rights in Assam,” he added.