Jesuits help starving tea garden workers

Over 2,200 people were employed in the plantations but the owners abandoned the plantations due to financial and legal problems.

July 10 2014, 3:14 PM
Jesuits help starving tea garden workers
Indian women harvest tea leaves at a plantation in Dharanipur area of West Bengal state.

A Jesuit team is providing food and health care to the starving workers of an owner-abandoned tea plantation in India’s West Bengal state.

Two people had died due to starvation at the end of last year in this tea plantation, which is one of the three plantations that were abandoned by its owners Red Bank group based in Kolkata.

According to the Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata, over 2,200 people were employed in the plantations the owners had abandoned due to financial and legal problems. There was a desperate need for food and people were dying of starvation. The newspaper had reported the death of a total of 12 people due to malnutrition and lack of health care in the three tea estates.

After an initial visit to one of the plantations in Dharanipur area and a group meeting with the affected people to better understand the situation, the Jesuit rescue team moved in. They are now providing help from donations they receive in both money and kind.

"We are focusing our work on the plantation in Dharanipur, the smallest, where there are 98 families and about 550 people in total,” said Father Lalit Tirkey.

“Attempts are also underway to make use of government resources and involve NGOs involved in the fight against human trafficking, because we have no news about a dozen young women from this area who had left for Delhi and other major cities looking for work,” said Father Tirkey.  

Source: Agenzia Fides

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