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IMPACTS

Jawa Community Unit

Jawa produced their first Video Magazine on the importance of education in the tea garden community. The lack of education among tea workers is one of the major causes that is hindering progress and acceptance of change within the tea community.

Jawa help video screenings of their first film AIY PODBO (Come, let’s study) in 9 different locations across Udalguri district of Assam. The screenings witnessed an audience of over 2000 people who not only shared their expriences of being entertained but also had wonderful experiences to share with the audiences. Ghasia Gorh, Tea Plucker of Bamanjuli Tea estate shared some interesting experiences,I have 4 children who are currently pursuing their education. It is a real sad experience to see my people with much smaller families than me who do not consider education to be the most important priority for  children. They wish to see change happening around them without realising that they themselves are a part of the change  that would need to take place.”

The screening at Dharamjuli division of Attareekhat tea estate saw three women who demanded evening classes in their tea garden where they could learn to read and write after their daily work.

BHOOTEACHANG TEA ESTATE, UDALGURI DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIA

The screenings were immediately followed by changes, many of them taking place overnight. The workers admitted themselves and their children at the the night school in Bhooteachang. Workers like line watchman Anmol Deka signed up their whole family in the schools. He says that it is an opportunity come to him once again in his life and one he would not want to miss. The school is currently holding classes for around 100 people.

 

DIMAKUSI TEA ESTATE, UDALGURI DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIA

 

Two screenings were held at the Dimakusi Tea Estate. One at Line No. 11 and one at New Line. Both screenings were met with good response. Following the screenings, a night school was set up by the community producers at New Line and adults and children at the estate enrolled in fair numbers. Retired tea plucker Bipul Kalita who never had the opportunity to complete his education and has now joined the night school says,”I feel that education is necessary to complete a person. Without knowledge a person will never become whole. In my childhood I had to discontinue my studies to work and fend for myself and my family. But now I have retired and I intend to spend the remainder of my life in the pursuit of learning to make myself a complete human being.”

 

ATTAREEKHAT TEA ESTATE, UDALGURI DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIA

 

The Attarrekhat Tea Estate screening was attended by a throng of 1000. The tea garden manager watched the videos, witnessed the response of his people and was motivated to establish a school in the estate. “I will personally see to it that all my workers send their children to the schooled,” ensured the manager. The Student Union present at the screening spoke about the government schemes available to the tribal tea workers that they could avail off and better their standards of living. Anjel, the local community producer has been instrumental in running a successful community campaign to get the children in the tea estate admitted to the newly opened school.

 

PANEERI TEA ESTATE, UDALGURI DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIA

 

The Paneeri Tea Estate screening was yet another colourful and well attended affair with the participation of the entire community. The Assam Chai Mazdoor Sanghatan, the local tea workers union graced the occasion with their presence and were inspired by the videos. They promised support to all of the JAWA CVU activities that took place in this region. The night school was set up and the people have responded to it in encouraging numbers. Tea Garden Sardar Binoy Tanty was one of the workers who welcomed the initiative. “I never understood this darkness of illiteracy that I was living in. It was almost like my eyes had become used to it. But now I seek to crawl out of this narrow tunnel into the open light.”


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