FROM A CORRESPONDENT
JORHAT, Feb 19: Opening up of new bank accounts and distribution of ATM cards was successfully undertaken through a combined effort of the Jorhat district administration, Commissioner of Labour office and the State Bank of India AAU Branch among 117 registered Tea Garden workers of the Borbheta Tea Garden in Jorhat today.
It may be noted that the launch of the scheme for the first time in Jorhat is being viewed as a plan to change the social behavior of the workers through day to day transaction with the bank while attaining social and economic security besides availing various schemes like insurances and loans. Henceforth the weekly/fortnightly cash payment of garden workers would now be through direct bank deposit and withdrawal through ATM’s.
Talking to The Sentinel Additiol Deputy Commissioner Roshmi Aporanji Korati said, “The district administration Jorhat has initiated this programme where the tea garden workers of Borbheta tea garden are being made to open bank accounts and from now on their salaries would be deposited through the bank. Usually weekly payments are done through cash in all the tea gardens. The whole idea is to inculcate the habit of savings and availing different banking schemes. Plans are afoot to bring in other tea gardens of Jorhat district under the scheme”.
An excited Lakhi idu and Bhuben Mal both workers of the garden opined, “We have been working in this garden for the last 30 years and till date the ritual was weekly cash payment. The decision to deposit our salaries in bank and withdrawal through ATM has overjoyed us. The ATM card will help us to withdraw money as and when required without the headache of carrying cash.”
Assistant Labour Commissioner Ishanu Shah said,” We have initiated the pilot project in Borbheta Tea Estate, the opening of bank accounts of all the tea garden workers. Bank accounts of 117 workers have already been opened. We are hopeful that we would be successful in disbursing their weekly wages. Besides Borbheta which is a pilot project, we have also selected other tea gardens like Mezenga and Tyroon in Titabor sub-division of Jorhat district. The idea behind the project is to make a better future of the tea workers”. It may be mentioned that the decision to open bank accounts and cash disbursal through ATM’s is expected to stop crimil activities like loot of cash meant for wages of garden workers.