Soccer for Terai tea workers

For the first time, tea garden workers of the Terai will take on each other in a football tournament organised by North Eastern Labour Institute (NELI).

Thirty-six teams will participate in the Inter-Terai Tea Garden Knockout Football Tournament to be held in Siliguri from May 1, said Aloke Chakraborty, the secretary of the NELI. He added that NELI was formed two years ago and was working for the overall welfare of the garden workers.

Everyday, there will be two matches which will be played on the football ground of Dagapur Tea Estate on the outskirts of Siliguri. The winner will get Iswar Chandra Tirkey Memorial Champions trophy and a cash award of Rs 15,000.

“Cricket may have sent football to the backseat. But many people living in this region, especially in tea gardens, still like to play soccer and love to watch the matches. The tournament is being organised with an aim to highlight the local talents and at the same time, to remember the former trade union leaders and planters,” said Chakraborty.