are found mainly in the districts of Darrang
and almost all the districts of Assam
. It may be mentioned here that Santhali speakers are also found in parts of Kokrajhar
districts also. The population of Santhali speakers is about 135,900.
The so-called Tea-tribes were brought in by the colonial planters (British) as indentured labourers from the Chhotanagpur plateau region.
Anthopologically, the have Negroid
features. General physical characteristics are:- Shorter (around 4.5 to 5 ft), of dark complexion, curly hair, blunt nose and wide nostrils
, high cheek bones.
One of the backward and most exploited tribes in india, though newer generation are comparatively educated and we now have intellectuals and profressionals in various fields. The Tea tribes, being basically labours, live in villages, inside tea-estates
(established by tea-planters
. These estates are located in interior places and this contributes to the backwardness and exploitation of them by the tea-planters
. The workers, in a way have to live with the basic facilities provided by the tea-planters
. The tea-planters
, usually exploit the tea-tribes every possible way. Violances and agitation of labours against the management is common, where the state machinery normally protects the tea-planters
. Non-education, poverty, addiction of males to country-beer, poor standard of living and health facility are the problems in their life. There are instances when tea-planters
do not even supply the life-saving drugs when workers are dying out of epidemics.
The 'welfare officer' appointed in every tea-estate due to compulsion from Govt of India, are mostly show-pieces than of any good.