ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Labour Crisis in Assam Tea

Unfolding Crisis in Assam's Tea Plantations: Employment and Occupational Mobility by Deepak K Mishra, Vandana Upadhyay and Atul Sarma (New Delhi: Routledge), 2012; pp 246, Rs 695.

The book under review brings out certain key issues related to occupational mobility among the working community1 in the estate sector tea plantations of Assam. It gives details on current employment characteristics, livelihood diversification and intergenerational changes of occupation in this sector.The authors consider these issues as significant in the present environment of liberalisation and deregulations, which shows further integration of Indian economy into global circuits. It is evident that while a section of people in this sector disproportionately share the benefits of progress, many others are left behind, overall a low road2 path of development.

This analysis, based on the data generated from a primary survey in sampled tea estates and a few surrounding localities,3 largely reflects intergenerational concentration or immobility (or engagement in lower-end jobs) of the working community. This unravels some dimensions of “multiple exclusions”. The findings generate debates which are plenty on the present approaches of the State in the neo-liberal economy.

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