Tea Lovers!!! Your day has arrived!! It’s International Tea Day on 15th December. The day is observed since 2005 in many tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania. On this day, we all are thankful to those who made us familiar with this wonderful beverage. All the appreciation to those who were involved in growing, processing and delivering this health drink! Tea is a drink that completes our morning satisfaction and reduces our evening stress. Most of us cannot live without a cup or two of tea. So, one can imagine how much addiction is there in the drink!
Tea is a health drink. The UN food agency, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) states that there is an increasing weight of scientific evidence of black and green tea being a contributor to a healthy lifestyle for people all over the world.
While tea consumption expanded by 2.4 percent in 2009 and 6.6 percent in 2013 to reach 1 million tonnes in India, the world tea consumption increased by nearly 5 per cent in 2013 to 4.84 million tonnes. No other beverage offers greater health benefits other than tea; a rising level of consumption of which holds testimony to this fact.
Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) is a research and advocacy centre working on labour rights and issues on a few sectors, including tea industry. It has been working towards sustainable livelihood for workers/farmers in West Bengal and Northeast states whose tea we relish every morning.
Even as tea consumption is increasing, however, those who produce tea for us live in dismal conditions. Starvation deaths have been reported from tea plantations of West Bengal. The wages paid to tea pluckers are abysmally low. The plantation workers don’t have access to potable water, sanitary conditions of living, decent housing or medical facilities. The condition of independent small tea growers is no better. They have no means of sustainable livelihood. CEC is handholding them in providing sustainable livelihood for the last 7 years.
Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) has been working towards reducing poverty and improving income of the STGs. The present project of “Sustainable Livelihoods for Small Tea Growers” is being implemented in partnership with Traidcraft and supported by the European Union.
On this International Tea Day, December 15, all the tea producing and exporting countries, such as Sri lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda, Kenya and others will be organising events to highlight the plight of their workers. This has been a norm since 2005. In Northeast regions of India, the STGs and Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Association (CISTA) is also organising events that will voice tea industry’s concerns and issues. For workers in the plantation sector, the Trade Unions are taking up the issue of starvation death in an Open Session at Dalgaon Tea Estate, Jalpaiguri, and West Bengal.
Various advantages of having tea are:
Reduces the risk of heart-attacks. Also say NO to cardiovascular diseases
Provides protection from ultraviolet rays
Boosts exercise endurance
Less caffeine than coffee
Boosts immune system
Protects against cancer
So, this International Tea Day, give yourself and your closed ones, smiles, by making tea for them.
Stay Happy! Enjoy Tea!
Feature Image Source: bhmpics.com