Jorhat, Sept. 22: The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) is taking steps to ensure that garden workers do not fritter away a whopping Rs 500 crore (approximately) that they get as annual Puja bonus on merrymaking.
With the issue of quantum payment of bonus being settled smoothly within today’s deadline, as set by the government, the ACMS, which has its central office in Dibrugarh, has asked its branches across the state to carry out awareness campaigns among the workers, of whom women constitute over 50 per cent, to save part of the bonus money instead of spending the entire amount on Puja revelry.
The Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA), in a separate initiative, has decided to contribute to the cause by urging the district and sub-divisional administrations besides managements of the gardens to do away with the age-old tradition of screening movies from projectors from evening till dawn in the estates during the Puja holidays for workers and their families.
According to the ATTSA, such screenings for very long duration not only have severe impact on health of the viewers but lead to untoward activities, including drinking of local brew and gambling.
This often leads to incidents of violence and even killings after petty quarrels in an inebriated state during the Puja days.
ACMS general secretary Dileswar Tanti told this correspondent that the bonus issue was progressing well with all the major companies declaring bonus at 20 per cent following discussions.
“It is expected that most of the gardens will pay the entire bonus amount while some will pay the first instalment by the Dispur-fixed deadline of September 30,” Tanti said.
Some garden managements, during discussions with the ACMS, had requested to pay bonus in two instalments and the majority of the amount to be paid in the first instalment, he added.
The Jorhat Central Durga Puja Coordination Committee has requested the district administration and the Jorhat Municipal Board to repair all streetlights and make them functional before the Pujas.