Jalinga tea garden promises 'best run'
Guwahati: Jalinga, the country's largest organic tea garden in Assam, is organising a run through its winding trails and rich biodiversity on November 18 for the cause of tea workers and their children.
This is the first charity run in a tea estate. The three-day event, Jalinga Tea Run, will begin on November 16.
The run will have three categories, 5km, 10km and 21km, inside the tea estate located in Dwarbumd area in Cachar district of South Assam, 34km from Silchar. There will be a run for children as well - 1km and 3km.
"Recently, there have been so many videos about Assam tea workers' living conditions that we at Jalinga had to direct our efforts towards our workers and buyers. Two months ago, I decided to organise the run to showcase our commitment towards our workers and their children," Ketan Patel, director at Jalinga tea estate, told The Telegraph.
Jalinga is spread over 1,100 hectares, of which tea is planted in 600 hectares. It produces 8.5 lakh kg tea annually.
"Jalinga is the only carbon-neutral certified tea estate in the world and the only one to earn carbon credits with no-emission cooking stoves that we gave all our 1,500 workers after signing up for carbon credit project with Atmosfair, a Germany company. We will get our first set of credits from early next year," Patel said.
"This is a charity event, aimed at empowering tea workers and their children. We are aiming at 200 participants for the first edition. I promise to give them the best weekend of their life. They will stay in tents on a tea hill inside the garden. We will also have 10 homestay options with workers, who will get money for it. I promise to collect a lot for my workers and their children," he said.
"Forty tea buyers from all over the world, including the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Japan, Taiwan and Sri Lanka, have confirmed their participation. The garden will also organise a pop-up exhibition to showcase local handicrafts and organic produce," he said, adding, "We now have six brands of tea in the UK, Finland, the US, Canada, Italy and Belgium who use the CO2 neutral logo on their packs free of cost when they buy our teas."
Sharyn Johnston, CEO of Australian Tea Masters, who is participating in the event, told The Telegraph, "The event is unique in that it will be held in the first carbon-neutral plantation in the world. It is a beautiful clean environment to hold a run and as far as I am aware, it is the first of its kind in the world. We hope it will bring unique focus on Assam," she said.