DIBRUGARH, Sept 16 - Payment of annual bonus to the tea garden workers is one of the most important events in the tea garden with lots of expectations and excitement. Traditionally, for centuries, this was being paid in cash to the workers, who immediately after getting the cash, fall prey to the local vendors or repaying to the moneylenders and as such they are left as empty handed as before. Gambling, consuming liquor and other anti-social activities are also major ill effects of cash bonus.
With the aim of eliminating the vices that workers go through, this year, the management of Dikom TE decided to pay the bonus to the workers through online where all the money was deposited in the individual accounts of the workers. The tea estate is perhaps the only garden which has doled out the bonus digitally. The garden management had opened bank accounts of cent per cent workers of the estate. However, transferring of Rs 1.5 crore to individual accounts was a big challenge. This idea of online payment to individual workers by the garden management was appreciated by the garden ACMS officials and workers of the garden. �The Dikom Tea Estate management is doing a commendable job. The management has not tried to impose the cashless policy straightaway like the Government. They educated the workers on the digitalisation and on cashless transactions. The management facilitated opening of bank accounts of all the workers and made sure that the workers understand the importance of cashless system. This has really encouraged the workers to accept their wages digitally,� said the ACMS branch secretary Nabin Keot.
Samar Jyoti Chaliha, senior manager of the estate thanked the bank officials of Assam Gramin Vikash Bank and Central Bank, who extended their help making the digital payments to the workers.
�This kind of effort brings satisfaction to oneself. Our workers are now more financially strong. They withdraw what they want. They understand the importance of saving money. However, there are miles to go, as this is just the beginning. The banking infrastructure has to improve. ATMs are required to be installed so that the workers can withdraw money without absenting from work,� the senior manager said.