Tea worker Amrit Tanti's story
40-year-old Amrit Tanti has been a permanent tea worker at Behora tea estate in Assam, India, for the last 20 years. He has three young daughters, and is a well-known community leader. Since 2015, Amrit has been the unit Secretary of Assam Cha Mazdoor Sangh (ACMS), the trade union at the estate he works at.
Amrit has been actively involved with our Plantation Community Empowerment Programme (PCEP) since the pilot’s inception at Behora tea estate.
As the CDF and ACMS unit secretary, Amrit is well-placed to synergise the wider community’s development goals across the estate.
A ground-breaking model that resolves issues and improves the living and working conditions on tea estates by bringing together communities and estate management.
Supported and funded by Taylors of Harrogate, PCEP is one of ETP’s flagship projects. It is a ground-breaking model that resolves issues and improves the living and working conditions on tea estates by bringing together communities and estate management through Community Development Forums (CDF). The project ensures that marginalised people’s voices, including women and young people, are listened to and that they are directly involved in decisions that affect their lives.
Amrit was selected as the Secretary for the CDF at Behora tea estate when it was formed in 2018.
Since, he has been responsible for organising meetings, facilitating and executing plans, providing guidance to sub-committees in the CDF, and working with ETP’s field team to conduct thematic training.
“Remarkable changes have been noticed after the introduction of CDF among the communities.”
For Amrit, “Remarkable changes have been noticed after the introduction of CDF among the communities.” Amrit points to the improved relationship between estate management and workers, how the women involved in the CDF have grown in confidence, and the rise of new income-generating activities across the estate.
“Our interventions have inspired young people to work for social change along with the CDF.”
Amrit notes that the project has particularly impacted young people across the estate. “Gambling and alcoholism were a problem among the youth. Our intervention through anti-alcohol rallies has helped to wean the youth away from these habits, and have inspired them to work for social change along with the CDF,” he said.