Tea production has, and always will be, a labor intensive process. A quick google search will yield many images of women in colorful ethnic garb, adeptly plucking tea with a discerning eye, filling a basket slung around their heads to keep the movement of their arms free. The nature of the crop lends itself to manual harvesting. Yet, the plight of tea laborers has been a concern for several years. As this issue gained prominence in the wake of increased media coverage in recent years, it is a relief to see many tea estates take steps to tackle systemic issues of poor nutrition, absence of educational opportunities, inadequate housing, and general exploitation of estate workers.
For the children of tea pickers, the lack of basic formal education or vocational training effectively subjects them to a preordained future of working in the industry, presumably as a tea picker. However, with education comes the freedom of choice.
Our quest to partner with an organization with intimate knowledge of these issues led us to Induz. We are thrilled to collaborate with an organization that shares our belief of empowerment through education.
Project Kopou was conceived by Induz to primarily benefit the children of tea garden workers as well as other children of the community from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The program, launched in August 2016, offers free art, music, dance, reading, math, science, tailoring and sewing classes to its attendees. Furthermore, plans to expand the range of education to include computer training and other vocational programs are underway. Currently, there are 120 children ranging from 8 to 14 years in age from nearby tea gardens and the general area enrolled in the program. Free classes are offered twice weekly and are taught by qualified and experienced tutors. Through Project Kopou, Induz has not only provided free education for underprivileged children, but has also enabled employment of teachers.
Yatra Tea Company will contribute 10% of company profits to Induz on an ongoing basis to be used specifically toward supplementing the existing structure created by Induz to run Project Kopou.
While we are a fledgling company, it is our duty to do what we can to support organizations like Induz that work directly with the people whose lives they are attempting to positively impact. As our business matures, our goal is to support multiple causes that endeavor to help those that are most marginalized. We know that your support and patronage will enable us to realize this vision!