Tea harvesting by the Adivasis in India

7 June 2011
Tea harvesting by the Adivasis in India

In the Dooars region of India, tea is often harvested by the people known as the Adivasis. Often despised by other Indians because they are right at the bottom of the social ladder, they benefit from positive discrimination, along with the lower castes. They don’t get much attention, which is another reason to talk about them here.

The Adivasis are one of India’s biggest tribal populations. They descend from the aborigines and live in the north-east of the country.

I took this photo at Meenglas, near Mal Bazaar, a few kilometres from the border with Bhutan. The Dooars region doesn’t produce very good quality tea, but that’s not important here. It was the smiling faces of these workers that I wanted to tell you about, not the rather coarse leaves filling their bags.

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