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When the Covid-19 Pandemic hit the world and new protocols of social distancing, hygiene, and safety were made compulsory, we were only getting introduced to the great distress that awaited global communities.
The tea gardens in Darjeeling hills have always been worse affected by all minor and major crisis. This time too, with operations coming to halt during the crucial first flush harvest and the looming danger of a global health crisis, we knew that our life force in the gardens would be severely affected.
As little as we could contribute to respond to this health and economic crisis, we got together with DTV, a local media house in Darjeeling to distribute safety masks, hygiene products, and spread awareness about the importance of following social distancing rules.
Starting on the 27th of April, We could visit three tea gardens: Rishihaat Tea Garden, Arya Tea Garden, and Giddapahar Tea Garden and could engange with around 250 garden workers.
As neighboring towns were also put on lockdown, the garden dwellers have been facing unprecedented difficulty in travelling to procure even basic essentials. There are many Samaritans and organizations that have come forward for their communities to help provide dry ration, medicines, counseling etc in their own capacities. We are fortunate and grateful to belong to this community that takes care of each other.
We were also impressed by how efficiently Social distancing and hygiene norms are being practiced by the people here.
Although we could only make a dent to make up for the great suffering of our tea garden workers, their unfettered spirit and hope for tomorrow, makes us believe that things shall soon be better.