SONITPUT ( By Pallav Kumar Bora ) College in Assam running a tea garden to help needy students earn money to meet their educational expenses. Over 800 students of the college benefitted in the last 10 years by the college’s unique initiative.
A government college in Assam’s Sonitpur district has engaged its poor students to work in a tea garden on the campus during free time, helping them earns money and pay for their education, informed .
Spread over 33 acres of land at Kusumtola area near Jamugurihat town, Tyagbir Hem Baruah College is endowed with a tea garden, besides a fishery, banana groves and lemon plants.
Mainly poor students from nearby areas work in the tea garden during off periods and earn around Rs 35-40 per hour by plucking leaves. Though it is part of a skill development initiative, the college authorities however have not taken any government aid for it, Ajit Hazarika, Principal, Tyagbir Hem Baruah College .
The Principal said that “ Tea cultivation on the college premises was started in 2012. Over 800 hundred needy students have been benefited by the initiative in the last 10 years”.
“ At least 50 students, who received training in tea cultivation during the three years they have spent in the college, have started their own tea gardens after graduating from the college” informed Ajit Hazarika.
The college sells green leaves from the tea garden to a nearby factory which is owned by one of the alumni of the college. The college which earns around Rs 1.85 lakh a year by selling tea aims the students to be doubly benefited in the college study and also earn using their skills.
Yasmin Khan, a student of the college said , “the initiative is quite inspiring for them and they are happy to have become self dependent even before completing their studies”
The students who are working in the tea garden feel that it will help them in the future. They opined that students should not always depend on their parents to buy petty things like a pen or a copy, said Lekhraj Mugali, another student of Tyagbir Hem Baruah College.
The college has produced green tea for the first time and launched the product in nearby local markets on June 1 this year. A heritage college established in 1963, the institution under Gauhati University has around 2,200 students in Arts and Science streams, and a total of 74 employees, including 48 teachers.
The College is not only helping the poor students meet their educational expenses but boosting the morale of all 2,200 students studying in the college and the initiative of the college from a small town of Assam is indeed an inspiration for all in the country.