BARPETA, Sept 26 - In Assam, the daily wage of a tea garden labourer is Rs 115, whereas in Kerala it is Rs 294 and Rs 191 in Tamil Nadu. The same wage in neighbouring Sri Lanka and China is equivalent to 317 and 338 respectively.
Labourers in Argentina are the highest paid with 1,195 daily, followed by Turkey at 1,116. This was the statistics quoted by the All Adivasi Students� Association of Assam (AASAA) in a memorandum to the President of India on Thursday.
The students� body informed the head of the republic that a labourer requires minimum Rs 330 to manage day-to-day necessities. They placed before the President that roughly 30 lakh Adivasis, mostly working in the tea gardens of Assam which produce around 55% of the total tea within the country are deprieved of their due.
Further, they have not been provided proper living facilities, healthcare, education and food security. So they demanded Rs 330 to be fixed as minimum wage of a tea garden labourer, besides introduction of other facilities in the areas inhabited by them.
The tea tribe students� body claimed that the community possessed every characteristic of a tribe, but had not been recognised as a Scheduled Tribe. It has deprived them of their tribal identity, constitutional rights, all-round development, right to live like human beings, economic rights, rights over their land, and recognition of their socio-cultural laws.
The AASAA exhorted the President to end the age-old injustice and intervene in order to accord the community the status of Scheduled Tribe.
The memorandum, signed by Mansuk Sankharika, general secretary of Baksa district committee of the AASAA, termed the eviction of Adivasi families at Deosri village in Chirang district on September 12 as unjustified and condemned the illegal eviction. They alleged that the evicted families received official notice in the morning hours, while their residences were dismantled just after a few hours afterwards.
The organisation opined that such sudden eviction has deprived the ill-fated families of their right to live. It demanded immediate payment of Rs 50,000 as compensation to each family, allotment of five bighas of land, dwelling houses and arrangement of ration, water, electricity and educational facilities to the families.