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A deplorable community in Bangladesh: tea garden workers

Md. Saidur Rahaman (Department of Business Administration, Metropolitan University Sylhet, Sylhet, Bangladesh)
Syed Muhammod Ali Reza (University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh)
Md. Mizanur Rahman (Department of Business Administration, International Standard University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Md. Solaiman Chowdhury (University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 15 February 2021

Issue publication date: 27 July 2021




Throughout history, tea garden workers are treated as slaves of employers and live an inhuman life in modern society. This paper aims to provide an account of the deplorable community (workers) of the tea garden in Bangladesh.


The authors used a mixed-method research approach to conduct this study. In the first stage, using a semi-structured questionnaire, Focus group discussions (FGDs) were done by forming two groups from two districts to get a clear picture of the tea garden workers’ living standards in Bangladesh. Based on the findings of the FGD, the researchers prepared a structured questionnaire containing the basic elements of their quality of work life. In this stage, the authors collected the information from 200 tea workers about their quality of work life.


The major finding showed that the overall country’s economy is booming because of tea workers’ contributions, but their economic conditions gradually become impoverished. The workers’ are living with colossal poverty and vulnerability. Besides, the workers are supposed to get fundamental rights, including food, clothing, shelter, education and health, but the higher authorities were found indifferent to take the necessary initiative to implement these rights.

Research limitations/implications

The data was collected only from the tea garden workers. This study excluded any other parties (trade union leaders, panchayats, garden managers and owners). Thus, it is suggested that the researchers should conduct a similar study covering the opinion, including all the parties.

Practical implications

Both the workers and the higher authorities of the tea garden might benefit from this study’s findings. Workers will be more aware of their basic rights. The authorities can also prepare some effective policies to improve the overall quality of life of the tea workers.


To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first study on tea garden workers’ inhuman life in Bangladesh in the entire emerald insight publishers.



The authors thank two of their students (Sourav [41st Batch] and Hridoy [39th Batch]) of Department of Business Administration, Metropolitan University, Sylhet, for their crucial support during this study. The authors also thank the editor and reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions on this paper.


Rahaman, M.S., Reza, S.M.A., Rahman, M.M. and Solaiman Chowdhury, M. (2021), "A deplorable community in Bangladesh: tea garden workers", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 548-566.



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