Aug 12 , 2022
Celebrate India at 75 with these Local Ventures Promoting Darjeeling
With India’s platinum Jubilee bells ringing in, the Nation is ready to begin a new Era of development and inclusivity. After 75 years of independence from Colonial Rule, India is gradually becoming a pioneer in almost every sector.
While the British rule in India might have been exploitative and extractive, the remnants of some of their industrial exploits remain in the country. Darjeeling, with its charming toy train and vast tea plantations, is a glaring example of the scale of British rule in India.
Darjeeling Tea: A Colonial Crop That Supports India’s GDP Even Today
The popular history of Darjeeling tea lies in the East India Company’s search for a viable tea plantation land. Back in 1841, when Archibald Campbell successfully grew tea from the seeds smuggled from China, in his backyard in Birch hill, he must have hardly imagined that his adventure would change the history of this hill town and India over the next 200 years. Tea was a lucrative beverage back then and fetched the East India Company huge profits. Even today, this colonial byproduct continues to be widely exported from Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas, contributing an export value of US$ 718 million in 2021 alone. In fact, India is among the top 5 tea exporters in the World.
Darjeeling beyond Tea
Darjeeling tea has gained global accolades and continues to support the local and National Economy even today. It is also the first G-I Tagged product to be recognized from India. But, as in every free community, the need for asserting self-sustaining choices is integral. As a part of Independent India, the enterprising town of Darjeeling has been a focal point for local opportunities and initiatives over the past 50 years. Government of India's schemes such as Make in India and Startup India has also propelled and supported many young entrepreneurs. The possibility of diversifying Darjeeling’s economy beyond tea via local initiatives and sustainable practices is exciting news for everyone who loves Darjeeling and all that it produces.
So, this Independence Day, here are six local ventures from Darjeeling that you can support:
- Darjeeling Connection
Darjeeling Connection was started in 2019 in the lap of the Himalayas. Its mission is to celebrate the Himalayan ethos via products that are handmade in the Himalayas. They create and also curate heritage crafts, accessories, and keepsakes, and also manufacture artisanal food products. All products are local, indigenous, all-natural, and authentic products from the Himalaya.
Earthandhome began as a social venture involving community participation by women folk from Darjeeling hills. This design studio creates sustainable products and packaging using traditional and local raw materials such as bamboo and Dhaka fabric. Mayukh tea's Single Estate Tea packaging in Dhaka fabric is also an initiative of Earthandhome.
- Rimbick Fresh
Rimbick is a little village that forms a part of the famous Singalila Mountain Range. The fertile terrain reaps a variety of crops and produce. Rimbick Fresh is a brand that started in 2020 to support and promote farm-fresh Himalayan products such as local dairy ghee, honey, millets, etc. They own five stores within the Darjeeling district and deliver at PAN India Level.
Tieedi is a stalwart in the zero-waste and sustainability movement in Darjeeling. They started in 2016 and since then have been working towards causes of regenerative tourism, decentralized waste management solutions, and environmental education rooted in Permaculture practices. They have also introduced sustainable consumerism via their Zero-Waste Stores online and offline where they promote locally-grown organic produce from Darjeeling hills and other zero-waste products.
Darjinc was started by a young entrepreneur born and brought up in Darjeeling with a vision to create a Digital map of Darjeeling. The platform consolidates food & beverages, handicrafts & stationery, and local apparel and services under one umbrella. Their website offers a space for manufacturers and sellers from Darjeeling can connect with global consumers.
Gauthali is a recent venture that started in 2022. The brand based out of Mirik creates handcrafted achaars from local and traditional medicinal plants and herbs along with other handcrafted products.
Shop Darjeeling Tea Online Directly From Gardens
At Mayukh Tea, we aim to bridge the gap between Darjeeling tea and its consumers by sourcing our tea directly from the Gardens. For Independence Day 2022, you can avail up to 70% off on teas.