Monday, 30th October 2017

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GTA workers contribute to tea garden fund

In the past 48 hours, Rs 14 lakh has been collected under the relief fund

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling
  • Published 27.03.20, 1:31 AM
  • Updated 27.03.20, 1:31 AM
  • a min read
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A tea garden worker A Telegraph picture

Non-permanent workers of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have decided to contribute Rs 500 each to the GTA chairman’s relief fund that is being set up to help tea garden workers during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

There are close to 4,000 such workers in the GTA. In the past 48 hours, Rs 14 lakh has been collected under the relief fund.

Deo Prakash Khawas, the secretary of the United Employees Association (UEA), has said in a letter to the chairman of the GTA’s board of administrators, Anit Thapa, that each non-permanent staffer would contribute Rs 500 from the March salary towards the relief fund.

The UEA is an affiliate of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay Tamang camp).

“This is a touching gesture because these GTA workers themselves are fighting for regularisation of their jobs,” a resident said.

There are 87 tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills, which approximately employ around 55,000 permanent workers and another 15,000 temporary workers.

Alumni members of St Alphonsus School, Kurseong, has contributed Rs 25,000 to the fund. “We feel privileged to be of some help to our fellow citizens at this hour of crisis,” said Santosh Raj Chettri, the secretary of the alumni association.