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Assam: Protest over supply of 'inferior quality' ration to tea gardens

Several organizations staged a protest in front of the ABITA office at Chawlkhowa in Dibrugarh alleging supply of inferior quality ration to tea garden workers of the State.

Assam: Protest over supply of inferior quality ration to tea gardens

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Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 July 2022 9:07 AM GMT

Dibrugarh: Several organizations on Friday staged a protest in front of the Assam Branch Indian Tea Association (ABITA) office at Chawlkhowa in Dibrugarh alleging supply of inferior quality ration to tea garden workers of the State.

Members of the National Front of Indian Trade Union, Jatiya Shramik Shakti, Jatiya Cha Shakti, All Adivasi Tea Tribe Jagaran Association, Assam Tea Labour Union and the All Assam Unorganized Labour Union participated in the protest along with workers of several tea estates. The organizations demanded that the government should disbar the supplier ABC Tea Workers' Welfare Service from supplying ration to the tea gardens. They also warned the tea management against accepting inferior quality ration from the government registered supplier.

Leading the protest, central vice-president of the National Front of Indian Trade Union (NFITU), Israil Nanda alleged that the ABC Tea Workers' Welfare Service had been supplying inferior, inconsumable, foul smelling and inedible rice and flour to the tea garden workers for last several years.

"The ABC Tea Workers' Welfare Services should be barred by the government from supplying ration to the tea gardens. Several tea estates have lodged complaints against them for supplying inferior quality ration which is unfit for human consumption. Recently, Kharjan tea estate and Daisajan tea estate in Dibrugarh were supplied inedible ration by the same supplier leading to intense protests by the workers. The ABC Tea Workers' Welfare Services seems to act more like commission agents and mouthpiece for a few unscrupulous mill owners. We demand strict action against them," Nanda said.

The agitating organizations also sought hike of the minimum daily wage of tea garden workers from Rs 205 to Rs 400. They also urged the government to ban import of tea and promote tea export. "We also appeal to the government to stop the destruction of tea bushes and sale of tea garden land for other purposes. Moreover, since there is lack of proper medical facilities in tea gardens, every tea garden should appoint a medical practitioner," Nanda said.

Also read: Assam: Demise of senior citizens in Mangaldai condoled

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