GUWAHATI: In a resolute bid to amplify the demands of tea garden workers in Assam, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has called for a massive one-hour protest across tea estates in the state on August 11. The protest aims to press for increased wages, improved healthcare facilities, and Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Adivasis.
ACMS President and former Union Minister, Paban Singh Ghatowar, affirmed that the protest would serve as a strong stand for the long-pending demands of the industrious tea garden workers. Alongside the protest, the union will submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, urging immediate attention to their grievances.
At the core of the ACMS’s demands is a call for raising the minimum wages of tea garden workers to Rs 351, while wages for workers in smaller tea gardens should be fixed at Rs 232. The union firmly believes that this wage increase is crucial to uplift the living standards of workers and secure them a dignified livelihood.
Drawing attention to the dire state of tea garden hospitals, Ghatowar highlighted the acute scarcity of medical staff and doctors. “In 60% of the tea garden hospitals, there are no doctors. These facilities are in deplorable conditions, and we demand their prompt repair and the recruitment of nurses, medical staff, and doctors to ensure better healthcare facilities for our workers,” he emphasised in a statement to the local press.
Ghatowar also voiced concern for the Adivasis in Assam, who are still awaiting Scheduled Tribe status despite being home to 112 Adivasi communities. He passionately appealed to the government to rectify this disparity and grant them the same benefits enjoyed by Adivasis in other states.
The ACMS protest has garnered extensive support, with thousands of tea garden workers expected to actively participate, leaving a significant impact on tea production in Assam.