Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Mohan Rabidas 

Tea workers of Boikunthapur Tea Estate in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj district are not getting their wages and ration for 14 weeks. On the other hand tea workers are not getting any medical treatment for 8 month. 4 tea workers already died for not getting medical treatment. All other opportunities provided by tea garden authority are stopped for 1 year. Violating the lease dead authority of Boukunthopur Tea Estate sold the shade trees and sand mine of the garden. 
As there is no income opportunity outside the tea garden, tea workers of Boikunthopur are in great economic crisis. Serious food crisis grips 416 tea garden workers along with around 4000 family members .These people are now struggling for existence, living on liquid extract from boiled rice and mashed tea leaves and chillies while the authorities continue receiving their labour.
"Give me food or shoot me -- I would say if I could see or had enough energy to shout. I'm too old to go elsewhere to earn money?" said Jamuna Sawtal, an 80-year-old blind woman in the tea garden area.
"I was happy to hear my grandson's plan to marry soon but now we are frustrated because tea garden owner did not pay him wages for 13 weeks," she said.
Sudhamoni Bhumij, 75, says, "If the government does not help us during the crisis period, I would rather like to be beheaded and let my blood flow in the garden."
"Hardship and struggle are constant companions of most of the indigenous people living in the area. But the present food crisis has left us in suffering worse than ever before," said Kartik Chowhan, 92, breaking down in tears.
Minoti Kairi, a tea worker of the garden, said they stopped their children's schooling due to the crisis.
Monib Karmakar, general secretary of Bangladesh Tea Labour Union's Baikunthapur tea garden unit, said the workers are falling sick as they have to pass their days half-fed for not getting wages with ration for 13 weeks. 
Most of the staff left the tea garden as they do not get salary regularly, he added.
"We request the owner to come on the spot and see our plight. Throughout the life we have worked in the tea garden. Where will we go now?" said Modhu Sawtal, 62. 
"We are also not getting proper treatment as the lone hospital of the garden has remained closed for the last six months," Ramnath Keut, Baikunthapur unit president of Bangladesh Tea Labour Union, said when this correspondent visited the tea garden on Monday.
An immediate help is needed to save the garden and tea workers.

I am requiting you to come forward to help the tea workers of Boikunthopur Tea Garden

No comments: