Surviving in a tea garden
Shriya Shetty
March , 2018 No Comments

Location: Assam


Tea for an average Indian is a source beyond refreshments, so what if those who help us get closer to this blissful experience are in a pathway full of troubled realities which many know of and often times enable it for their uncharitable goals. Amarpreet Kaur, during one of her project in Assam, encountered such a situation – so contemptible, and saw how national and multinational organisations have dubiously let these actions persist steadily, I’m prominently concentrating on these mazdoor at tea plantations, which no doubt comprise of 95%+ women helping the cooperates fill up their leather pockets, while these women are being consensually dehumanized.

It is easy to witness how such large scale women domineering labor activity have been nothing but crippling these same women with below the belt standards and letting them live a dissatisfied life. Corresponding to their 10+ hours work day of standing and burning under the glaze of the sun with almost leisure being a alien term because that would cost them to loose some of their wages, wages which can’t ever really be considered as legitimate with proportion to the intense manual labour they have to put in. Such ill-disposed situations sets them into a vicious cycle with lack of proper housing facilities, inaccessibility to standard healthcare, insufficient funds to educate themselves or invest in educating their kids, because money is always too tight, and awareness to any or everything has in multitudinous ways been manipulated and snatched away from them; to always disregard them and let them exist in deprived conditions — for people to pretend to care, to work, but not offer anything beyond their sympathies, a phenomenon which deeply saddened Amarpreet when she got around these plantation worker and their personal lives.

The data showcasing the unhealthy abusive nature of this kind of job is easily accessible to everyone, rousing pity and empathy which, no matter how many time I have to reiterate, I would, because these women aren’t weak they just haven’t necessarily given the right aid.

Things just seems to get from bad to worse. We can’t possibly ask much from these women because they have already been ignoring everything just to put in their designated hours abandoning their infants and toddlers without proper care, ignoring the lewd remarks they receive and unauthorised and dubious touches they tackle daily, because they are almost stifled with their un-official contracts and can’t figure any way out— they are shackled there anticipating liberation from depriving forces, to be given their due.

Whilst the main purpose of the project for Amarpreet was to collect data for a certain research, the impact it left on us is much more than what some piece of paper may convey; the dilemma is that with the research hours that have been put by many people the output works isn’t something pioneering, it lacks effort towards further planning and policy formulation and the dependency that we’ve seen among theses economical strata is uncanny, we need to step beyond it, move ahead and tackle these problems more impact fully than ever before. This becomes a continuous cyclic process which  keeps on sanctioning the dissuading living conditions of the economically challenged and maintains a pity-rousing poverty in a country with the second highest population— so that this would forever be a marker of India’s identity, which we could collectively improve and get rid off, if these capitalising corporates sets an almost unprecedented, altruistic agenda and everyone of us helps in lending them hands to accomplish the said agenda, something Amarpreet Kaur herself aims at, but needs as much support as she can get to serve her best for the women in our country, and what’s better way to start it with the ones who are ferociously silenced? Because these women require reinforcements of our trust more than others to grant them their said due.

Given the resources or lack thereof, HRhelpdesk Trust spent hours travelling through the unevenness of these raggedy terrains of Assam meeting more than 100,000 women who are gradually looking up at their life. At HRhelpdesk Trust, we coach them on their rights, we educated them on how they can form communities and navigate their daily hardships, and that the life they live now isn’t what they deserve and aim to show them that they could do better, they deserve the bet. The effectives and 100% implementation is a story for the future, but its better to start than just sit there waiting for an opportunity to come.

We need your assistance, so that we, as an organisation can boldly take steps to free these women, to give them the opportunity they sadly could never have, we want to bring them to the front, show them to the world, and for once, let them also see what this world is all about apart from what they are currently living through.