Tea Garden Labourers Case Study

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Understanding the Economic Lives: The Case of Tea Garden Labourers Minakshi Gogoi Research Scholar Department of Anthropology University of Delhi Abstract The tea garden labour societies are distributed in different tea gardens of Assam and India. Tea plantation has long been a major industry in Assam and these are dependent on labourers almost all of whom are the descendants of those who were brought to Assam by the British East India Company and later by the British rulers and entrepreneurs. Their main source of livelihood is wage earning in different tea industries through field and factory workings followed by agriculture. They are basically daily rated workers and payment is made in every 15 days. Except the minor ones almost all the…show more content…
In this paper an attempt has been made to present the existing economy of the tea garden workers on the basis of their occupation and existing wage structure. Keywords: tea garden labourer, economy, occupation, wage. INTRODUCTION Assam is the world's single largest tea growing region. At present Assam produces about 55% of the country's total tea production and about 1/6th of the tea produced in the world. In India Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala account 98% of India’s total tea production. Assam's tea industry is dependent on about two million workers almost all of whom are the descendants of those who were brought to Assam as slaves first by the British East India Company and later by the British rulers and entrepreneurs from 1830’s through 1920’s, mostly from the Santhal Parganas district of Bihar (now in Jharkhand state). The descendants of these slaves are now called tea tribes (Chatterjee and Das Gupta, 1981)[1]. The tea tribes form the backbone of the Assamese tea industry. The tea-tribes are found mainly in the…show more content…
Wages therefore include family allowances, relief pay, financial support and other benefits. But in the narrower sense, wages are the price paid for the services of labourers in the process of production and include only the performance wages. They are composed of two parts; the basic wages and the allowances. The basic wages is remuneration, which is payable to any employer in terms of his contract of employment for the work done by him. Allowances, on the other hand, are paid in addition to the basic wages to maintain the value of basic wages over a period of time. Such allowances include holiday pay, overtime pay, bonus, and social security

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