Most tea garden owners in Jorhat district of Assam have shown interest in engaging migrant workers who have returned to the state in the wake of the lockdown, following talks with the local authorities which are looking for avenues to provide employment opportunities to these people, an official said on Tuesday.
The district administration is aiming at providing jobs to around 1,000 returnees in the first phase, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said.
"Of the 86 tea gardens in the district, several owners are showing interest to accommodate the migrant labourers. Apart from plucking leaves, there are many jobs in a tea estate.
"Most of these are done by non-permanent workers. We are looking to engage the returnees in such activities," she told PTI.
The administration is negotiating with the tea garden managements, and it is estimated that there is a requirement of around 1,000 skilled people for jobs like plumbing, fitting, maintaining electrical equipment among others in the gardens.
"We will contact those who are qualified for these jobs and take the necessary steps to connect with the tea garden managements. The returnees will be provided training for skilled jobs and will also get a stipend," Korati said.
A scheme- 'SwaNiyojan'- has been launched by the Jorhat district administration to provide opportunities for the migrant people, who lost their jobs due to the lockdown and came back to Assam.
Asked how the authorities are contacting the migrant labourers as per their skills, she said a database is being created based on their expertise and qualifications.
"Forms with a standard format have been distributed among these workers in quarantine centres to collect their biodata," Korati said.
Besides tea gardens, the authorities are also looking to engage the returnees with various works under different departments such as panchayat and rural development, agriculture, veterinary and industries by providing right counselling and support.
She also said that the district authority has rolled out a unique project 'Ghare Ghare Lao Jika Bhol' in urban areas to encourage people to grow their kitchen gardens.
As part of the project, around 10,000 households in four municipal areas of the district are being provided with a packet containing seeds of eight different vegetables.
She said the project is implemented with the help of respective municipal boards and various civil society groups.