BILS with the support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) organized a Roundtable titled “Tea garden workers’ rights and social protection: Present situation and way forward” on November 29, 2019 at Azimur Rahman Conference Hall of The Daily Star building, Dhaka.
Analysing the present situation of tea workers’ rights and social security, creating advocacy strategies for formulating policies aimed at making positive changes in their quality of life are the main objectives of the programme.
Speakers at the roundtable said, tea workers are still victims of discrimination, just as they had been during British rule. Without improving workers’ living standard, the goal to become middle income country cannot be achieved, they added. They demanded permanent residential facilities for tea workers. The workers’ children have been deprived of primary education due to lack of schools near their residence, they underscored.
BILS Vice Chairman Anwar Hossain chaired the meeting while BILS Executive Director Md. Zafrul Hasan delivered welcome address. BILS Advisory Council Member Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Joint Secretary General Dr. wajedul Islam Khan, SKOP Joint Coordinator Naimul Ahsan Jewel, Society for Health Extension and Development-SHED Director Philip Gain, Bangladesh Tea Workers Union Chief Advisor Tapan Datta, Bangladesh Tea Workers Union General Secretary Rambhajon Koiri, BILS Secretary Abdul Kader Hawlader, Executive Council Members Abdul Wahed and Pulak Ranjan Dhar, FES Programme Coordinator Arunduty Rani, Representatives of Chattagram and Sylhet area tea workers, BILS and SKOP affiliated National Trade Union Federations representatives were present at the meeting.