Siliguri tea garden tribal workers hold rally

Siliguri, June 22: Tribals employed in tea gardens as pluckers and factory workers in Doars Terai region, held a rally in Siliguri to highlight their problems.

Organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Adivashi Bikash Parishad (ABAVP - All India Tribal Development Council) of the Doars Terai region, the rally appealed to the government to facilitate reopening of 14 tea gardens.

"The biggest problem we (tribals) are facing is the closure of around 14 tea gardens in Doars. Some of these tea gardens are closed for the last five years. But the government is doing nothing," said Suraj Tigga, Joint Convener, ABAVP.

Over four million tribals inhabit the Doars Terai region and most of them are employed with the tea gardens.

With the closure of 14 tea gardens as many as 17,000 people have been rendered jobless. The tribals also want better working conditions and basic facilities.

"Many tribals are now unemployed because of the closure of 14 tea gardens in Doars. Moreover there is no sanitation in the tea gardens. The hospital located in the tea gardens is of no use. Medicines are given in the hospital but it can't be called a hospital," said Paresh Munda, a tea garden trade union leader.

The tribals have held several rounds of talks with the State and Central Governments on their demands, which they said, have not been met so far.

Copyright Asian News International/