DIBRUGARH, Aug 7: The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has announced plans to launch a one-hour protest on August 11 in every tea estate across the state to voice their various demands and submit a memorandum to the chief minister.
ACMS president Paban Singh Ghatowar stated during a press conference, “On August 11, we will initiate a one-hour protest program in every tea estate across the state to press for our demands and submit a memorandum to the chief minister regarding our long-pending issues.”
The key demands put forward by the ACMS include increasing the minimum wages of tea garden workers to Rs 351 and ensuring that small tea garden workers receive wages of Rs 232. Although this increase was already notified, many workers have not received the updated wages due to the failure of the Social Welfare department of Assam.
Ghatowar also highlighted the dire situation of hospitals in around 60% of tea gardens, where there is an acute shortage of doctors and medical staff. The condition of these hospitals is appalling, and the ACMS demands urgent repairs and recruitment of nurses, medical staff, and doctors to improve healthcare services for tea garden workers.
Furthermore, Ghatowar said that 112 Adivasi communities residing in Assam have not yet been granted the Schedule Tribe (ST) status. The ACMS urges the government to include them under the purview of ST status, as is the case in other states where they enjoy the benefits of this status.
Lastly, the ACMS calls on the state government to provide land pattas (land ownership documents) to the Adivasi people of Assam, especially those who are landless, to secure their land rights and livelihoods.