Assam tea tribes demand ST status, wage hike


DIBRUGARH: The Assam Tea Tribes’ Students’ Association (ATTSA) on Friday, protested in Dibrugarh demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the tea tribe community and an increase in wage hike for the same.

Reportedly, the tea labourers in the Brahmaputra valley are paid a daily wage of ₹ 167, while the ones in Barak Valley are getting a wage of ₹ 145 per day.

“The BJP government have committed to increase the minimum wage of tea workers upto ₹ 351 but till date they have not fulfilled their promise. The Union government has promised this before election to ‘woo’ the tea tribes voters,” said Lakhindra Kurmi, Dibrugarh district secretary of ATTSA.

“The ST status is a long pending demand of our community, but is playing politics over the issue. We demand ST tag for our community before the assembly election in Assam,” said an activist.

Notably, the tea tribe in Assam play a crucial role in sealing electoral outcomes, both in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

They constitute around 20 per cent (70 lakh) of the state’s 3.5 crore population.

(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)