The battleground is all set to launch a protracted movement in Bengal tea sector. Tea workers, both the daily wagers and the employees together have been raging for the last 7 years with the demand to implement Minimum Wages for the first time in more than 150 years old tea gardens in North Bengal.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has decided to repeal the ‘archaic’ legislation, Tea Act of 1953, that deals with matters of tea cultivation, management, control of tea undertakings, control and export of tea seeds etc. Tea Board of India, in its press release, declared that “after more than 68 years, some of the existing propositions of the Tea Act, 1953 have become ‘redundant’ due to efflux of time, for which it has been proposed to bring a new act in place of the present act under which Tea Board will act as a facilitator for the benefit of the tea indus
Excerpts of an interview with Sumanti Ekka, a 26 year old tea worker of Darjeeling district, West Bengal, recorded by Saswati Sengupta on 5 April 2021)