Assam tea workers' children should no longer wake up to eat leftovers: Sitharaman

Assam tea workers' children should no longer wake up to eat leftovers: Sitharaman

Sitharaman Sitharaman

GUWAHATI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the relentless pestering by Assam tea community BJP MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa and Pallab Lochan Das have bore fruit in an uplift of the living conditions of the tea workers in Assam.

Stating that the living condition of tea workers who produce the world’s wake-up beverage will have to change for better, Sitharaman said: “Kamakhya Prasad Tasa used to pester me since 2014 to do something for the tea workers. Pallab Lochan Das would also often reiterate the condition of the tea gardens in the Parliament.”

“Their relentless efforts helped to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra who instructed me to initiate steps for the uplift of financial condition of the tea workers,” she added.

Interpreting a line from a jhumor song that a troupe presented in the ceremony, she said: “The tea workers of Assam produce the beverage that the world looks for waking up in the morning. Those noble producers’ children should not wake up to be fed leftovers of previous night. Our government has embarked on a mission to change the entire scenario.”

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“The prime minister has formulated various schemes, such as the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and above all the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to ensure that paperless treatment benefit of up to Rs 5 lakh reaches everybody in the remotest garden,” she said.

Then came the hurdle of ensuring that every beneficiary receives the government awards “removing all middlemen from the route through digitalisation” and there were the issues of very few tea workers with bank accounts.

“The banks were objecting to open accounts without valid documents such as aadhaar card etc. I forcefully directed the banks to overlook even some rigid rules to open their accounts and despite the coronavirus pandemic, they worked day in and day out to ensure 100 per cent bank accounts coverage in every garden,” she said.

Sitharaman was here to ceremonially launch tea workers’ cash award of Rs 3000 each to 7.5 lakh tea workers in the Chah Bagisha Dhan Puraskar Mela organised at College of Veterinary Sciences ground here.

She hailed the state government for dedicated efforts to ensure that every scheme reaches its beneficiaries without any hitch.

Edited By: Imtiaz Ahmed
Published On: Feb 06, 2021