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Tea garden owners, government slammed for 'exploiting' workers

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

From a Correspondent

Jorhat, May 2: “The tea garden owners in the State have been exploiting the workers by paying minimum wages and giving limited facilities since decades. We have been demanding to the owners as well as the government to enhance the daily wages of garden workers since long, but they have not paid any heed to it. As a result the garden workers have been living in a pathetic condition below the poverty line. Now we have decided to take to the streets across the State with rigorous agitation until our demands are fulfilled,” said tea tribe leader Sanjay Krish Tanti in Jorhat while addressing a May Day programme on Sunday.

Addressing hundreds of tea garden workers at the meeting organized by All Assam Chah Jagusthi Adhikar Sangram Samiti (AACJASS) at Meleng Tinikunia Tea Estate in Jorhat, Tanti said, “Despite repeated pleas to the government since decades, it has turned a deaf ear to us. The political leaders come to the tea gardens only during the time of polls to make some false promises, but after the elections are over they fail to keep the promises made to us.”

He added, “We have been demanding of the government to issue land pattas, to increase daily wages up to Rs 350, to rehabilitate landless tea garden workers, 25 per cent reservation for tea tribe candidates in government jobs, to release the pending provident funds of Rs 400 crore and to take steps for all round development of tea tribe domited areas.”

Earlier the day-long programme started with hoisting of flag by AACJASS, Jorhat district president Sunil yak followed by smriti tarpan.

An open session was also held on the occasion where the speakers in the meeting unimously criticized the exploitation of tea garden workers by owners and the government. They also laid stress on the solution to the long-pending demands of tea garden workers in the State at the earliest.

Iugurating the open session, advocate Anup Kumar Dutta also strongly criticized the apathy of tea garden owners and government towards the issues of garden workers. “It is a fact that the tea garden workers in Assam have been living in a very pathetic condition. They lack minimum facilities like adequate health care facilities, education, communication, potable water supply and all other modern facilities. Although they have been crying for solution of these issues, no one has come to address these,” he said.

In the meeting ATASU working president Kumud Gogoi, AAMSU leader Dhiraj Ahmed and social worker Rajendra Prasad Kanu was present among others.

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