President of Tea Workers Union Sylhet Valley Raju Gowala told the Dhaka Tribune that workers of Kalagul, Keowachhara and Tarapur were deprived of fair price rice due to unknown reason, although people of the tea gardens were in badly need of government assitance.
He said: “Only 160 tea workers out of 2,260 at Lakkatua Tea Estate while 57 labourers out of 2,000 have got ration cards. But all the tea workers are poor and all of them should be given the fair-price rice.”
The government is providing rice among five million ultra poor rural families at Tk10 per kg which is much lower than the open market sale.
The rice will be sold among extreme poor people during two lean periods – March-April and September-November every year.
The fair price cards are being given to the families to get 30kg rice and 3kg lentil per month with a special focus on nutrition for malnourished women and children as per the Global Nutrition Report.
According to the Tea Workers Union, a tea worker gets only Tk85 as wage after plucking 23 kilograms of tea leaves every day. But the wage is not sufficient to run their livelihood.
Workers of three tea estates submitted a memorandum to deputy commission on Thursday, demanding rice at fair price.
President of Tea Workers Union Sylhet Valley Raju Gowala, Lakkatur Panchayet President Situ Lohar and Tarapur tea garden Panchayet President Choiton Modi, among others, were the people who submitted memorandum to the deputy commissioner.
Addition Deputy Commissioner (general) Sohidul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that names of some tea garden workers were excluded from the list. He had already asked upazila nirbahi officer to look into the matter.
Upzila Nirbahi officer Mir Mahbubur Rahman said he had already asked chairman of respective union parishad to update the list.
Delwar Hossain, chairman of Hatimpur Union Parishad where Kalagul tea estate located said they would be able to correct the list of ration card holders within Tuesday.