The Tea Board, in consultation with the Ministry of Commerce, is working on evolving the finer details of a scheme aimed at the welfare of tea workers, especially women and children in Assam and West Bengal.
In the latest Budget, the Finance Minister had proposed to provide ₹1,000 crore for the welfare of tea garden workers and said that a special scheme would be devised for the same.
The details of the scheme and will be shortly submitted before the Department of Commerce, for implementation, the Board said in a press statement.
The broad contours of the scheme will include health, education and skill development, and aims to significantly enhance the quality of life of the women workers and help in capacity building of their dependents by infusing adequate skills.
Women constitute nearly 50 per cent of the total workforce in tea gardens. They deftly accomplish an entire gamut of activities — ranging from nursery to planting, bringing up young saplings, plucking, pruning and manufacturing in the factory.
“The proposed scheme will significantly incentivise the tea garden workers, especially women labourers, and foster amongst them a feeling of self reliance and an acknowledgement of their service,” the release said.
Assam and West Bengal together contribute 81 per cent to the country’s total tea production (52 per cent by Assam and 29 per cent by West Bengal). There are 4.17 lakh women workers in Assam and 2.06 lakh women workers in West Bengal.