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State starts skill development training of non-workers of tea gardens

State starts skill development training of non-workers of tea gardens
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Kolkata: The state Labour department has begun skill development training for non-workers of the tea gardens so that they can earn a living on their own.

Around 60 per cent of the population living in tea gardens are non-workers, who depend on the tea garden workers for their bread and butter.

"We have collaborated with the state Technical Education, Training and Skill Development for offering skill development training to the non-workers. Apart from basic computer training, data entry applications training is also being imparted. They are learning driving, automobile repairing, mobile repairing, among others. Beautician training and stitching are getting good response, especially from women," said a senior official of the state Labour

department.

Training in sewing and cutting is being imparted by instructors in different Labour Welfare Centres for the last few years. The trainees, who rank between first and third in the examination at the end of the course, are awarded with sewing machines. "Computer training programme known as Lab-Web training programme has been started in 7 model labour welfare centres. Now, we have ushered in professionalism to such training and already extended its ambit," the official added.

Tea gardens are often plagued with issues like labour unrest and non-payment of wages. "The skill development training will help the non-workers to earn a living and they will not go hungry during such periods," said an official.

Just before Durga Puja, the state government had provided financial aid for three months and an additional ex gratia to permanent workers of 13 closed tea gardens. In Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, 4537 permanent workers of 13 tea estates received the money.

Besides this, the state government pays a monthly assistance of Rs 1500 to the permanent workers under the FAWLOI (Financial Assistance to Workers of Locked-Out Industries).

All working and non-working families residing in the tea gardens (enrolled under Antodya Anna Yojana) get 35 kg food grains per month free

of cost.

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