Workers collect tea with torchlight on head at midnight...

Dhaka, Thursday   29 July 2021

Workers collect tea with torchlight on head at midnight

 Panchagarh Correpondent

 Published: 05:29 PM, 15 June 2021   Updated: 05:29 PM, 15 June 2021

Workers collect tea with torchlight on head at midnight

Workers collect tea with torchlight on head at midnight

The tea workers of Panchagarh district are collecting tea leaves by tying torchlight on their heads at night. Once they used to collect tea leaves in the daytime, however, the leaves would have dried up with the intense heat of the sun. The factory owners also did not want to take dried leaves. 

Due to this, for the past two years, workers have been collecting leaves from midnight. The number of night workers is increasing day by day. Each group has 10 to 15 workers. The garden owners pay the workers Tk 3 per kg of raw tea leaves. A night worker can lift 200 to 250 kg of leaves per day. As such, their daily income is Tk 600-800.

Talking to the workers, it is learned that they went to sleep between 9-10 pm and woke up at 2 am. Then they tied a torchlight or mobile light on their head with a tea leaf cutting knife in hand and went to the tea garden. They collected the leaves and sent them to the factory by 10 am and returned home. They do other works during the day.

Meanwhile, these workers can do family work or other work during the day by picking tea leaves at night. With this, they can run their family smoothly and solvency comes to these workers in financial difficulties.

In the beginning, they were afraid of insects and spiders while collecting tea leaves at night, but they did not have to face any unpleasant situation to pick the leaves in groups. Besides, collecting leaves at night has reduced the suffering and doubled the income, they said. 

Babul Hossain, a night tea worker in Panchagarh Sadar Upazila, said, “I have been collecting tea leaves at night for two years. I work from 2 pm to 10 am and get a wage of Tk 600 to 800 per person. I can do other things during the day. I can run the family well by working in these two ways.” 

Abu Sayed, a tea farmer from the Amarkhana area of ​​Panchagarh Sadar Upazila, said, “We can give fresh leaves to the factory as the workers are getting less trouble by collecting tea leaves at night.” 

Bangladesh Tea Board Panchagarh Regional Office Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Mohammad Shamim Al Mamun said the tea industry in Panchagarh has employed 20,000 to 25,000 workers besides farmers. They used to spend lazy time before. Now they are prosperous by working in the tea garden. Especially those who are working to collect tea leaves at night are getting more benefits.