Experience of Consultivo survey enumerators: Working across different tea gardens of India

India, a major tea producing country produces some of the finest qualities of tea in the world. The Indian tea industry is one of the major contributors to the Indian economy owing to its rich variety of tea plantations.

 

To study the socio-economic conditions of the tea industry, a  survey was carried out in around 151 tea estates of India. Here, 6 survey enumerators were also engaged who passionately worked along with the industry experts and senior surveyors across the tea gardens of India.

During the feedback session, we took a tour along with the survey enumerators on their entire experience and captured some of their quick bites.

 

tea garden survey

Picture credit: Medha Basu, Consultivo communications team

Trailing in the tea gardens

It was a fruitful experience for the survey enumerators Debajit Kachari, Deepty Nayak, Susmita Kalindi, Mintu Kumar, Montu Konwar & Ayushman Bharadwaj working with the field experts and get hands-on experience.

“It was a great experience for me to work with our supervisors/team-lead. I really admire the way we were guided. They helped us to understand how to interact with the local tea garden workers and bridge the communication gap with the workers”, says Debajit Kachari, one of the survey enumerators.

Pre-project training before the survey

Prior to the survey, a one-day pre-project training was provided to the enumerators to help them understand how to present themselves, communicate with the local workers and put forward the questions.

“The pre-project training gave us a brief idea about the tea garden industry and helped to build up questions for the survey”, says Deepty Nayek, another survey enumerator.

Susmita Kalindi adds, “It also helped us to understand how to communicate with the workers and make them feel comfortable during the survey process.”

A guideline was also provided to the surveyors for their own understanding. “It was important for us to first understand the project ourselves in order to make the local tea workers understand”, feels Debajit.

Consultivo survey enumerators during their survey

Some glimpses during the survey

A challenging yet valuable experience revealing the hidden adversities

It was quite a challenging task for the survey enumerators to communicate with the workers and make them understand the questionnaire as the workers were not literate and also felt uncomfortable speaking to them about their work and life. But, gradually they opened up and shared their stories. The enumerators also communicated with them in their local language so that the workers could easily understand and interact with them freely. “Hearing their stories, it really motivated us to know more about them & spread awareness about their dire situation”, recalls Mintu Kumar.

The enthusiastic enumerators visited many tea gardens during their survey which gave them an insight into the working of the factories and the current situation of the tea estates, lives of the local tea workers, their livelihood and lifestyle. It was a great exposure for them to learn about the welfare sector with a practical experience in the field.

Ayushman Bharadwaj thinks, “The project is a good initiative to know about the tea industry and reflects upon the situation of the workers. This survey will help to identify the problems and plan out ways for the workers to overcome their difficult conditions”.

Meet our survey enumerators

Consultivo survey enumerators

Top (L – R) Mintu Kumar, Deepty Nayek, Mantu Konwar | Bottom (L – R) Ayushman Bharadwaj, Debajit Kachari, Sushmita Kalindi

According to the enumerators, it was a great learning experience for them as they got to learn so many things about the tea sector, met new people, interacted with the workers and listened to their thoughts and stories, saw the workings of a factory – how the products are processed and packed and much more. Besides, they strongly suggest that some necessary actions must be taken for the welfare of the workers to uplift them from their degrading conditions and give them better work environment and benefits for a better life.

Final thoughts

The enumerators feel privileged to be a part of this survey project as it was an enlightening experience for them and they wish to be a part of more such surveys in future.

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