ASIA/INDIA - The drama of tea pickers left to themselves

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dharanipur (Agenzia Fides) - A team run by the Jesuits in North Bengal is providing food and health care to the workers of a tea plantation where two people were killed at the end of last year, presumably due to causes related to malnutrition. According to information sent to Fides Agency by the Jesuits, the Indian newspaper The Telegraph had reported the news of the death of 12 people due to malnutrition and lack of care regarding three crops of tea owned by the Red Bank group, based in Kolkata. As published by the newspaper, the owners, for financial and legal problems, abandoned the three plantations, where over 2,200 people were employed.
In the three plantations where deaths were caused because of starvation there is a desperate need for food. "We are focusing our work on the plantation in Dharanipur, the smallest, where there are 98 families and about 550 people in total - said Fr. Lalit Tirkey, SJ -. We visited the people and had a group meeting to better understand the situation". The Jesuit rescue team is pursuing its commitment "with the help we receive both in money and in kind". Attempts are also underway to make use of government resources and involve the NGOs involved in the fight against human trafficking, because we have not received any news about a dozen young women who had left Surendranagar to go to Delhi and other major cities looking for work. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2014)