Grown at an elevation of 750-2000 meters, Darjeeling Tea has created a name for itself and no account is essential or required – just the product name is self explanatory for the Champagne of Teas. Tea connoisseurs world-wide formulate their favorite brew and taste the most exotic Darjeelings, but as every product has its own story to eulogize, Darjeeling Tea also imbeds a story where thousands of hands have worked together to give you ‘the prefect brew.’
If you pause and give a thought of how the tea was processed, you will then realize how harsh and cumbersome it is for the tea laborers to pluck tea while standing on a hilly slope almost vertical to their body. Yes, we are talking
about the tea laborers. Some people are misguided
about the laborers and their living conditions.
Such an incident took place when a visiting
tourist from Germany commented during a friendly
interaction, “I suppose Darjeeling Tea
is a very big industry since we cannot afford
to have a single cup back home. It’s very
expensive. The tea garden workers here must
be one of community’s richest people”.
We wish that it was just the case as our friend
from Germany conjectured, but on the contrary it is
just the opposite. The wages they receive are
not sustainable enough to provide their children
basic structural education and hence contribute
overflowing and exhaustive population of illiterates mostly accountable in the tea gardens areas. Thunderbolt Tea aims
at helping these poor children by contributing
a certain percentage from the sales towards
their education. It has laid out several programs
where illiterate parents (garden workers) are
made conscious about the importance of their
problem is the condition of the workers.
No one really takes care of them.
They are the worst hit lot today.
I know it both on personal ground
as my grandfather worked in Pankhabari
Tea Estate (Makaibari region) and
also as a reseacher in the tea industry
of Darjeeling. I have raised these
issues in many national and international
forums including the last Social Summit
held in Mumbai. Since a large number
of people living in the Darjeeling
area live and depend on the tea plantations,
this is a real shame. Look they have
remained deprived even from the basic
- Dr. Mahendra P. Lama
(extract from "Illumine",
a monthly local magazine).
Dr. Mahendra P. Lama is a Professor
of South Asian Economics in the School
of International Studies in Jawaharlal
Nehru University, New Delhi. He is
also Chief Economic Advisor to the
Chief Minister of Sikkim with a Cabinet
Minister rank. He is presently a Visiting
Professor in Hitotsubashi University,
Tokyo. He was nominated by the Government
of India in the Independent Expert
Group set up by the South Asian Association
for Regional Co-operation (SAARC)
in 1997. He was the prestigious Asia
Leadership Fellow in Japan in 2001
and Ford Foundation Fellow in the
USA in 1997.
Our quest is to help as many as possible: to spread our wings as far as we can reach, but we know that it will not be adequate for the mass living in a macabre situation.
We need hands that come forward to help; to assist; and to make a difference. We extend our benign appeal to anyone interested to help or sponsor a child’s education. Thunderbolt Family WELCOMES ALL!
|“Come let us light one 'Candle of Hope'; then others will be lit by the same one to dispel the darkness of illiteracy and illuminate the world with radiance of Education”
It will unquestionably make a gigantic difference to the child and his family
and you can get a tremendous feeling of having done one commendable job.
The sponsored child’s info will be put
up on our site on relevant “Sponsored
Childs” page with sponsor names. The sponsors
will be updated on the performance of the child
on a regular basis through email and phone. Interested in sponsoring? Click