Good news for the Assam tea industry as NCERT has decided to place before its Textbook Development Committee the proposal for including tea as a chapter in its textbooks during the revision of the textbooks.
This has been stated by the NCERT in its letter to North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) advisor Bidyananda Barkakoty. The NCERT move came in the wake of a letter written to the Prime Minister and the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister requesting to include a chapter on Tea and its role in the economy and society in the school textbooks.
‘The National Education Policy is in the process of formulation. As a follow up of the Policy, the Curriculum Framework and other teaching learning material will be developed. This will be placed before the Textbook Development Committee during revision of textbooks,’ stated the NCERT letter.
‘Contents related to tea have been already included at relevant places in all geography textbooks from Class VI to Class VIII,’ the letter mentioned, adding, ‘Tea is an important crop in the country and keeping this in view geographic conditions for its cultivation and tea leaves harvesting by women have been illustrated through textbooks.’
Meanwhile, Barkakoty in his letter to Irani pointed out that India is the largest producer and the largest consumer of black tea in the world, growing about 25 per cent of the world’s total tea.
The 109-year old tea industry is one of the largest employers in the organized sector in the country with 50 per cent of workers being women. Hence Indian tea industry is the single largest employer of women.