THE HIMALAYAN BEACON KALIMPONG NEWS BUREAU
KALIMPONG, 10 JANUARY 2018: Kalimpong Krishak Kalyan Sangathan met Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry and submitted a memorandum. Kalimpong Krishak Kalyan Sangathan which is a registered Federal Organisation operating in Darjeeling and Kalimpong Districts including the tea gardens and the cinchona plantations particularly looks after the farmers of the region. Speaking to ‘The HImalayan Beacon’ Bishnu Chettri, the Secretary of the Sanghathan said that the organisation was presently engaged with 18 farmer producer organisations, 240 farmers club in villages, 100 women self help groups and 80 Joint Liability Groups (JLG).
The organisation in its memorandum to Suresh Prabhu has requested for the Central Government to constitute a body with statutory powers to conduct a socio economic survey of tea gardens and the conditions of the plantation workers. It has also requested that since the tea garden workers fall under oral lessee farmers they should be declared marginal farmers and given land rights.
In its memorandum the organisation has said that the daily wages of tea garden workers is 132.50 Rupees per day which is lower than the minimum national wage of Rs. 300 and as such should be raised. Besides these the organisation has also raised the issue of establishing hospitals, Kendriya Vidyalayas for the tea garden and cinchona plantation workers. It has also said that Tea Auction Centre and E-Auction centre should be established in Darjeeling. It also called for immediate intervention on the part of the Central Government to disburse the fringe benefit of Rs. 10.12 crores which is still due in respect of the various tea gardens such as Dooteriah Tea Garden, Kalej Valley Tea Garden and Peshok Tea Garden.