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Extra support for pregnant women and children on the tea plantations of Northeast India
9 December 2020

Extra support for pregnant women and children on the tea plantations of Northeast India

Over 8 months after the start of the pandemic, the first ‘corona’ generation is here. Newly born children in Asia, Africa and South America are dealing directly with the effects of increased poverty. The growth and development of children’s brains is limited without proper nourishment in the first 3 years of their lives. Therefore, Zorg van de Zaak Foundation put in extra work last December to support women and children in India with food packages. This was a Christmas activity we organize as a part of an existing project in collaboration with the Indian Tea Association (ITA).

The impact of corona on the tea plantations in India

Girls and women regularly get together in small groups on the plantations to discuss how to work and live as safely as possible. The communication is of critical importance. At this moment, contamination rates in this area in India are only at 1%. There are still 9 million people in this region who carry the virus. Should the virus spread on a plantation, the work has to be stopped, resulting in families having even less income than they do now.

Sandip Gosh is in charge of developments on over 400 plantations in Assam (North India) that are a part of the ITA: ‘On the plantations, we immediately started working at a safe distance from each other. Everyone wears face masks. It is also not possible to receive or visit people from outside of the plantation. Pregnant women are a very vulnerable group at this time. Anaemia is a wide-spread problem. This is caused by the prices of well-rounded nourishment are at least five times than those for rice or bread. Families who live on the plantations are not earning enough at the moment to buy full nourishment.’

A helping hand by the Foundation

The ITA started the ‘sanitary pad’ project in 2018 with great success. This ensured more job opportunities and women being able to continue working longer. An important step which allows women to participate actively in society. Through the idea that everyone deserves a chance to participate, we think it is important that this activity can continue.

The direct support was intended for 500 mothers and 2500 children living on 10 tea plantations in Northeast India. In collaboration with the ITA, we provided food package consisting of:

  • Milk powder (to provide extra protein)
  • Semolina with added vitamins
  • Almonds
  • Enriched oil (with added vitamins)

100% of revenue of our Christmas action benefited the food packages on the plantations. Thank you!