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The cup
isn’t half full. It is empty.

For a tea estate worker, every cup of tea comes with a kettle full of hardships.

75% workers suffer from monthly wage gap after written and unwritten deductions

87% workers get cash in hand ranging from INR 3500 - 4500 per month

Over 50% workers do not even get a pay slip

Carried in rusted tankers, drinking water is often yellow or even brown due to its high iron content

Staggeringly high number of cases of Jaundice, Typhoid and Cholera due to unsafe drinking water

There are 0 toilets in any tea gardens

Women are forced to take leave during menstruation and hence lose out on their daily wage

Going to isolated spots makes women extremely vulnerable to infections and predatory attacks

Both garden and factory workers refrain from consuming water due to poor sanitation facilities

More than 75% of maternal deaths in Assam occur in tea plantations

70% healthcare centres within estates are rarely visited by doctors and do not even provide basic medical facilities

48% government hospitals are located from anywhere between 5kms to over 30kms away from the plantations

In case of an illness, a worker has to report to the health care centre twice a day. Failure to do so results in a pay cut instead of a paid sick leave

Failure to provide protective gear, leading to heavy exposure to harmful pesticides

Factory workers do not have access to safety gear even while operating heavy machinery in the high risk zones of factories

Less than 1% workers reported to use all work-related safety measures

Safety gear is provided only at the time of audits

Often employed on daily wages teachers in some estates are not even secondary examination qualified

In some instances, students in the third standard were unable to write numbers and alphabets

78% female workers and 40% male workers are illiterate or can only sign

In some instances housing conditions are so poor, on rainy days water pours inside through the holed roof and workers have to use umbrellas even inside their homes

According to the PLA of 1952, it is mandatory for estates to provide and maintain housing accommodation of the workers

Despite deduction from wages, workers asserted that they have not received any help upgrading their living conditions

These are just some of the hardships
that workers deal with on a daily basis.

Support us as we work together to uplift the conditions of over a million tea estate workers.

Your cup of tea is missing something - the truth.

Watch Adil Hussain shed light
on the #TruthAboutTea

Just like a simmering cup of tea, ignorance too is bliss.

Take the quiz. Know what you don’t know.

1

Global Living Wage Coalition benchmark estimated the living wage in rural India at INR 345 per day in 2015. However, a tea plantation worker in Assam earns INR 200-260 per day on average

A tea plantation worker in Assam earns between INR 137-167 per day

2

50% maternal deaths in Assam
occur in tea plantations

More than 75% maternal deaths in Assam occur in tea plantations

3

Tea plantation workers in Assam receive proper safety gear for protection against life-threatening pesticides

Tea plantation workers in Assam receive safety gear for protection against life-threatening pesticides only during audits and official visits

4

Between 25-30% workers reported suffering from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and jaundice due to the hazardous quality of water provided by tea estates

More than 45% workers reported suffering from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and jaundice due to the hazardous quality of water provided by tea estates

5

78% women in tea plantations
in Assam are anaemic

95% women in tea plantations in Assam are anaemic

50 Tea Estates
from Assam,
500 Tea Estate
Workers

Shed light on the plight of over a
million others, with similar stories.

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Download a detailed account of

Addressing the Human Cost of Assam Tea

An agenda for change to respect, protect and fulfill human rights in Assam Tea Plantations

This paper is based on the findings of research studies by the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) and the Bureau for the Appraisal of Social Impacts for Citizen Information (BASIC). It is part of a series of papers written to inform public debate on development and humanitarian policy issues.

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