In an industry worth $49.46 billion, workers like Saham only make around $1.50 a day. Saham and many like him endure poverty and hardship, but for them , this work is all they have. Tea Workers’ Plight Saham worked on an tea estate that helps supply the global tea market. In 2019, Asia accounted for 60 percent of all global tea exported, with hundreds of tea estates dotting the fertile and humid belts of Asia. These estates, also known as tea gardens, employ hundreds, sometimes thousands, of workers.
As is common, the laborers typically lived on the estates. Entire families make their homes within sight of the tea shrubs. Day in and day out, these workers labor amid the tea bushes, barely making ends meet.
Hardship on Top of Hardship
One day, without warning, Saham’s tea garden closed for one year. Now he and the other workers had to fend for themselves; what little income they depended on was gone.
The tea gardens had been the only major institution of any sort in the surrounding area. There were no local hospitals, proper sanitation facilities or water facilities. Any sicknesses, ailments or injuries would have to be endured.
Saham suffered from multiple wounds on his legs. What he had earned went to finding healing, but nothing worked. And so, like the other workers around him, Saham bore his hurt, hoping for healing.
Medical Care for All
GFA-supported pastor Ekanpreet, a leader in this particular region, heard of this community’s plight. Having grown up on a tea garden, the pastor knew the struggle these people faced…