October 20, 2021

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Study: 74% tea backyard garden staff nonetheless living in poverty

4 min read

Female tea yard employees battle with hygiene-linked troubles through menstruation, maternity, and childcare

As quite a few as 74 % of tea garden employees in Sylhet continue to reside under the poverty line, in accordance to a recent study by the Bangladesh Bureau of Studies (BBS) and Unicef.

Essential knowledge on women and youngsters working in tea gardens are missing, slowing down development in the Sylhet division compared to other components of the country, the research found.

The conclusions of the study were revealed at a UN Females Bangladesh webinar, “Enhancing social safety for feminine tea backyard employees and their families in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh”, on Wednesday. The survey and two workshops had been organized jointly by ILO, UNFPA and Unicef.

Key points of dialogue at the webinar integrated Gender Responsive Scheduling and Budgeting (GRPB) and social security of tea backyard garden staff.

Ram Bhajan Kairi, standard secretary of Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union (BCSU), reported each individual tea back garden employee receives only Tk120 as a each day wage. The govt and tea back garden entrepreneurs are not earning efforts to increase it.

Also study – TIB: Tea workers still denied essential rights

“Our grievance is that the law reform committee has not listened to the requires of the tea personnel. Only house owners are current in this sort of session,” he said.

Gitanjali Singh, Head of company, a.i, UN Women Bangladesh, in her speech pressured on 3 details that include transformative financing for gender equality, allocations (outlays) translating into authentic, tangible modifications in the lives of females, women and the will need to progress gender responsive social security steps. 

Absence of hygiene services, threat of domestic violence

Beneath the UN joint method, two workshops ended up held on GRPB in Sylhet Division. The initial was held in December 2020, and the next in March 2021 to address the quick and extensive-expression wants of tea garden employees and their loved ones associates, specially woman tea backyard garden employees.

Female tea yard workers struggle with cleanliness-connected difficulties throughout menstruation, maternity, and childcare. They operate a lot more than 8 several hours a day in intense weather ailments, with small accessibility to resting spots and washing services, the application identified. 

Besides, early relationship, dowry, and domestic violence are prevalent in opposition to tea garden staff, it included.

Disagreement in excess of conclusions

Nevertheless, Tahsin Ahmed Chowdhury, convener of the Labour Wellbeing and Welfare subcommittee of the Bangladesh Tea Association, claimed there had been big discrepancies in the BBS-Unicef information. He said that employees ended up paid out a lot more than Tk300 every per day.

“The tea small business has been in existence for the past 150 years and it is a seasonal business regulated by the affect of climate. The charge of generation is also decided by industry forces and that is why we won’t be able to usually satisfy all the requirements of the workers, but we attempt our best,” he explained.

He also disagreed with the notion of gender discrimination in the tea gardens because tea garden communities are matrilineal. 

There are 7 health and fitness centres with capable medical practitioners, 27 primary educational institutions, and a single higher faculty on 1-acre of land in the tea garden parts at the instant, he extra.

Negligence really should finish

Prof Sayema Haque Bidisha of the Dhaka College section of economics stated: “According to different studies, there are 90-93 communities in the tea yard parts. Shockingly, they live 20 decades considerably less than us, which is truly really surprising. Our federal government must acquire much more initiatives and aim on their health, education and learning, and livelihood.”

Also read – Tea employees: The women’s tale

Ferdousi Sultana Begum, gender and social security skilled and global group leader at ADB, mentioned tea yard workers were being currently being neglected. She famous that their challenges could be solved if the federal government preferred. 

Md Nayeb Ali, deputy secretary at the Ministry of Social Welfare, reported the ministry provided housing and accommodation for tea garden workers, while tea yard leaders reported that they experienced not obtained any documents that proved the properties experienced been provided by the federal government.

Ferdousi Begum, deputy secretary (funds and audit) at the Ministry of Women of all ages and Little ones Affairs (MoWCA), said: “By 2025, we desire to assist 100% of expecting mothers in vulnerable communities and we also have the basic safety web for feminine tea yard personnel in Sylhet, which is ongoing.”

According to the once-a-year report of the Bangladesh Tea Board for 2017-2018, a full of 4,40,743 employees and their family members lived in 159 tea gardens across the nation. 

Among the them, 100,6191 had been long term staff (48,611 male and 50,144 woman) and 36,028 were momentary staff (13,186 male and 13,192 female).

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