Tea World

Lesson 27

Tea Garden labours of Assam

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Tea Garden labours of Assam

You have come to know that traditionally tea was cultivated in China or Japan as a peasant crop. It is only in India where the British started tea cultivation in an extensive way. For establishing the new plantations, a huge number of labourers were needed. To meet this demand, the British had to import laboueres from other parts of the country. These people from different parts of India were imported and engaged to work in the tea gardens of Assam and in course of time, they forgot their roots and through a process of influence and counter influence with the local Assamese community, a unique culture evolved and they became an integral part of the greater Assamese community.

You will be given a brief account how the tea tribe of Assam has been evolved. It is a fascinating story how the decision of the British for importing laboureres from central India decided the lives of millions of men, women and children who migrated, sometimes forcefully or deceived by recruiters or voluntarily owing to pressures, to the tea plantations in Upper Assam during the British colonial era.

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