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Jalinga Tea Charity Run Aims to Make a Difference in Workers’ Lives

Between 16-18 November, Ketan Patel, director, Jalinga Tea, West Bengal, India, urges the world to join him in improving the lives of Assam tea estate workers and their children at the first Jalinga Charity Tea Run. All proceeds – 100% – raised at this three-day event will be used to enhance the lives of Assam workers and their children, including helping build a home for children with autism and raising funds for the small grower project. This is an initiative that will enable small regional farmers to generate additional income by growing herbs.

Patel says that lately there has been a lot of negative press about the living conditions of Assam workers and their children. Determined to make a difference, Patel decided to host the first annual Jalinga Charity Tea Run, to both showcase what Jalinga Tea has been doing while also raising proceeds to do more.

For Jalinga Tea, based in West Bengal, India, their business model is centred around sustainability. The journey began when Patel identified that the poor infrastructure, including frequent power outages, was resulting in a poor, quality exports. By adopting sustainability as a business model, Jalinga Tea has become one of the largest organic tea producers in the region, producing over 900 tonnes a year. Over the years, Jalinga has integrated several critical practices including pioneering the composting technology, Novocom with Inhana Biosciences, solar powered lighting for 1500 workers home and low carbon emission cooking stoves for their workers. These initiatives have helped establish the estate as the only carbon neutral Organic Tea Farm.

Located on the breathtaking 650-acre tea estate, the run will be the first to take place on a carbon neutral tea estate. Runners will be delighted by the amazing views, clean air, and winding trails. However, the run is only a part of the journey. Jalinga Tea Estate will be providing accommodation, meals and a series of events to fully immerse the 150 plus attendees in Assam culture and the beauty of Jalinga tea. Over 40 tea buyers from around the world, including Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, and Germany, will be attending this event getting a true insider look at the lives of Jalinga Tea workers and their families.

Throughout the weekend attendees will enjoy several pop-up exhibitions and events including a tea tour, an exhibition rugby match, yoga, artisan crafts, tea tasting sessions and a charity auction. Music has become an integral part of this experience, with performances by Usha Uthup, DJ Vicky Metharamani and jazz performer Syncopation. The workers and their children are an integral part of this event and Jalinga Tea Estate has incorporated several moments where employees can be actively involved in the experience. This includes ten home stay options, providing a true insider’s look for a few individuals. The music festival will also be broadcasted live to all the workers in the three divisions of Jalinga, including at the recreational hall where it will be shown on a large screen TV.

The Jalinga Charity Tea Event is much more than a fundraiser. It is an opportunity to share the incredible story of the workers and their children with the world. For more information or to register to participate, visit: www.jalingatearun.com.

By Anne-Marie Hardie

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