TEZPUR, Nov 18 - The All Adivasi Students� Association of Assam (AASAA) on Tuesday organised a mass gathering at Joymoti Pathar here in protest against the alleged discrimination of the Government as well as the tea company owners in increasing wages and other facilities of the tea garden labourers.
The meeting was attended by AASAA workers of Nagaon, Dhemaji, Sonitpur, North Lakhimpur, Biswanath Chariali and Udalguri and representatives of the All Adivasi Women�s Association of Assam.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the programme, general secretary of AASAA�s Sonitpur district unit, Christopher Dhanwar, said that the AASAA has started the �Hazira Badhao� movement throughout the State.
The Plantation Labour Act 1951 (PLA 1951) has not been implemented in Assam, he said, expressing grave concern over the Government�s apathy towards tea garden labourers.
However, the association welcomed the State Government�s draft notification declaring Rs 177.19 as the daily wage of the tea workers. �However, we regret that the members of CCPA moved the High Court trying to obstruct the declaration of the notification. We condemn this act of the CCPA. In the wage increase process, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), which claims to be the workers� representatives, has continually acted against the workers,� he said.
The AASAA leader added that the hike would not only benefit the workers, but the entire economy of Assam would be boosted. It would reduce dependence on the package from the Central Government or loans from various national and international banks taken by the State Government and local industries.
�The workers will be able to send their children to schools, eat healthy meal, dress hygienically and live in a better lifestyle,� he further said. However, warning the Government, the leader said that if the immediate implementation of the minimum wage in the tea plantation does not take place and the granting of the ST status to the Adivasis does not happen during the forthcoming winter session of the Parliament, the government will have to face the consequences.