Neeraj is from Hasimara, a small town in the Dooars. She did her graduation from Ashutosh College, Kolkata and then a photography internship at VS Studio, Kolkata. Since then she has been working as a photographer and editor there for two years now. Ever since she discovered photography, Neeraj has tried to bring out the often ignored stories of the people and place that she calls home.
Let me talk about a place in West Bengal which people hardly know about, a place called Dooars. Dooars starts from the Teesta river in West Bengal and stretches till Dhansiri river in Assam. There are over 324 tea gardens here, making it one of the most important tea growing regions of the world. Yet, a lot of things remain un-discovered in Dooars.
Since the government announced the lockdown and closing of workplaces in order to restrain the coronavirus transmission, Dooars has been overshadowed by a looming concern. Women tea garden workers here are now facing an uncertain future. They are completely dependent on daily wages and have no other financial assurances. These women have to work without any preventive gears and safety measures in place. They go to work at around 7 am, come home for lunch and then head back to the plantation again until 6 pm. My father is an employee of a tea garden here and has been going to work daily too.