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India: Trapped in dying tea gardens, workers lose children to traffickers
Author: Anuradha Nagaraj, Reuters [UK], Published on: 22 January 2017
Tea gardens began shutting in 2002 and within five years, most had fully closed because management said they were unviable to run or struggled with big loans...Sabita, 16, is among the growing number of adolescent girls coerced to leave the tea-growing belt of West Bengal, whose pickers endure severe poverty, social isolation and health problems now their jobs have gone...In the 276 mostly closed tea gardens of West Bengal, young girls are dropping out of high school and “disappearing” with agents, according to a Child Welfare Board official...Hunger and death are deep set in the tea gardens. But for the nearly 200,000 families that still live here, despair is only growing.