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New committee of Barak tea workers’ body formed

 FROM A CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, June 27: Bharatiya Cha Mazdoor Sangha, Barak Unit, has formed a new working committee at a meeting held in Gandhi Bhawan, here yesterday. The newly elected working committee will function for six months and they will focus on forming units or panchayats in every tea garden. Tea labourers have been asked to stand against the exploitative ture of the government and to voice their demands fearlessly.

The meeting was called to discuss the issues so that the tae labourers can get their dues. The meeting began with lighting of the auspicious lamp by Jawaharlal Roy, member of the newly formed advisory committee and former deputy inspector of schools. In his iugural speech, Harirayan Verma, vice-president of the newly elected working committee, said, “I am overwhelmed at the number of audiences we are having today. There are some persons in our organization who had served excellently all throughout their life.”

 Taking a cue from Karl Marx’s iconic opening lines in his ‘Communist Manifesto’, he gave a clarion call for the workers to unite.

Somesh Biswas, in-charge, tea estate, Assam, chronicling the history of the Sangh’s journey, said, “It was on July 23, 1955, that Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh was formed. The day is important for another reason also, it is the birth date of Lokmanya Bal Gandhadhar Tilak.”

He also said at that time there were no members and offices to accommodate them.

 The Sangha fought alone and became successful against all odds. “If one turns over the pages of history, several important trade unions and remarkable dates will be found. Trade Union came into India in 1889. Others unions too followed. AITUC came into being in 1920, its one of the oldest running unions,” he added.

He enlightened the audiences by citing some exemplary events in the history of trade unions

 Earlier there were no laws for trade union, but British government had to accept the demand and passed the Trade Union Act. It clearly states that trade unions will be under the law.

 “The birth of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangha (BMS) owes to Dutta Mahanta Tengri, who on July 23, 1995, at Bhopal, called a meeting and on a spur of moment, decided to form the Sangha. Tengri wanted a non-political organization,” said Biswas.

Mahendra Sharma, chief-speaker and prantiyo pracharak, said, “All the members and workers of the Sangh should be a tiolist first. They have to be selfless and remain ever ready to do or die. The main aim of a labourer should not remain confined within fulfilling one’s own need. He or she should feed their family members properly.”

 In a remarkable speech, Jawaharlal Roy suggested that it is high time for the estates to sustain against all odds. He cited examples of tea estates of Dudhpatil, and Karimganj, which are on the verge of being closed.

Roy also spoke about the future of the children and said they should also get employment. He also said that youth from the tea belt areas are leaving their homes for a better settlement in places like Cheni and Bangalore. This tendency should not be encouraged. He also spoke about the problem of tea gardens that are not given recognition. As a result of which, the wards of tea labourers are not able to earn themselves even a grade IV job.

Dhanjoy Teli has been elected as the general secretary and Dr. Bijoy Lohar, Ajya Singh and Ram Kumar Singh as secretaries.

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Ankur Kalita