The suffering Saga of Tea Community in Western Dooars
To the north of West Bengal stands the East Himalayas as a natural backdrop. Here in the sub-Himalayan foothills of West Bengal a vast texture of dense forests teeming with wildlife, unending tea-gardens, babbling rivers, interspersed with sleepy or busy settlements constitute a fascinating tourist destination --- Dooars. Not so much known to the world, the Dooars valley streaching from River Teesta on the west to River Sankosh on the east, over a span of 130 km by 40 km, form a major part of Jalpaiguri district. Derived from the word doors (doors to Bhutan), this region also forms a gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan and the North-Eastern states. The dense natural forests interwoven with lush green tea gardens are criss-crossed by Teesta, Raidak, Torsa, Jaldhaka, Kaljani and other rivers and their tributaries trotting and rolling down from the hills. The vast texture of massive trees sheltering varieties of orchids and resounded with echo of birds and wild animals make it a varitable paradise for lovers of nature and eco-tourism. Amidst this fascinating diversity of flora and fauna stays peoples of tribal communities belonging to Toto, Mech, Rava, Oraon, Munda, and others. Their local songs and dances have enriched our folk-culture. All these form our charming Dooars.
A land of unending beauty, Dooars is again divided by the Sankosh river into the Eastern and the Western Dooars, consisting of an area of 8800 sq-kms. Occupying a major part of Jalpaiguri district, the Western Dooars is known as Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars the Assam Dooar.
In the context of the discussion as to the wages of tea plantation workers in Western Dooars we should throw a bit light on the history of tea plantation industry in West Bengal. Tea plantation industry in West Bengal first started on the hills of Darjeeling....