Empowerment on Entitlements & Government Schemes
PAJHRA’s rights initiatives primarily focus on promoting the human and labour rights of tea plantation workers. By law, tea plantation owners are required to
• Pay workers a decent wage at least matching the State minimum;
• Provide workers statutory benefits separate from the wage – such as housing, health, education, and other social services – to ensure workers have decent living conditions; and
• Guarantee safe working conditions.
However, plantation owners regularly fail to meet their legal responsibilities. Workers are paid far below the state-mandated legal minimum wage, and plantation owners widely provide extremely poor social services and workplace protections, causing workers to live and work in appallingly poor conditions. These actions constitute violations of Adivasis’ Constitutional rights.
PAJHRA addresses these problems in several ways.
Rights Awareness Building
Many tea plantation workers are not aware of their rights and entitlements under the law and Constitution. PAJHRA helps raise workers’ awareness by collaborating with both Adivasi and non-Adivasi community groups to provide training, distribute flyers, and otherwise educate workers about their legal rights. PAJHRA helps organise talks and rallies to expand workers’ knowledge. PAJHRA also builds the rights awareness of other Adivasi community organisations through giving them training on applicable laws and government programmes, facilitating one-to-one interaction with government officials, and helping them write and file complaints with appropriate offices. PAJHRA helps community organisations identify rights violations and respond effectively.
Promoting Fair Wage
Wages in the tea industry have been unjustly low for decades, falling far below the state minimum wage for employees in other industries similar to the tea industry. PAJHRA relates with other local and national organisations, institutions, and individuals to raise their awareness of the situation and seek their support to secure a better wage for tea plantation workers.