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Behind the Scenes with Mana Organic's Community Development Team– Part One

Avantika Jalan Chota Tingrai Tea Estate Mana Organics social projects

Guest Post by Avani Jalan

By buying Mana products, you not only enjoy a great cup of tea, but also support tea growing communities and the environment. Here’s a look into one such community:

Chota Tingrai tea estate spans over 1480 acres, with 860 acres of planted tea. Chota Tingrai is home to 600 families with a total population of 2200. This small community comprises people of all ages and a part of our mission is to shape this community into a self sufficient, sustainable and healthy society.

The workings of this community are no less than those of a small town. We have two elementary schools, a hospital,a library, public utilities and housing. The leaders of community development at Chota Tingrai are women who work tirelessly to carry our social mission forward.

The Mana Organics Director Avantika Jalan with the Community Development Team

Our team of dynamic women

Here are profiles of two of these incredible women: 

Aruna, Community Welfare Manager

Role in Chota Tingrai Tea Estate: Aruna works to ensure smooth functioning of the estate’s domestic and social life. From getting fixtures and leaky roofs fixed for workers, to making sure the hospital has enough supplies, she does it all. She is easily identified by the workers, as the woman in a white coat on a motorbike always solving problems!

Challenges: When asked about the challenges she faces in her day to day life, Aruna said that in a community where everyone is equal, it’s difficult for her to prioritize the problems that she is entrusted with solving. With heavy monsoons prevailing in the region, problems such as leakages are hard to solve due to limited dry working days in the season.

Vision for Chota Tingrai Tea Estate: When asked about her dream for the community, she instantly replied with “no more leaky ceilings!” but on a more serious note said she wants to work to ensure sustainable, long term solutions to maintenance problems.

Jyoti, Waste Management Project Leader

Role in Chota Tingrai Tea Estate: Jyoti is leading our successfully implemented waste disposal system for the community, where all waste is segregated into compost and recycle bins. She is responsible for ensuring regular pick up and maintenance of the waste disposal infrastructure. We use the compost waste to produce additional compost for our field requirements, or re-distribute this compost to local growers who are connected with us for organic cultivation of tea.

Challenges: Due to heavy, unpredictable rainfalls in this region in the last few years, the communities have been facing tremendous hardship dealing with water logging. We are in the process of re-constructing our entire drainage system for the worker housing communities to better capture rain water to avoid water logging during the high monsoon seasons.  Improving the overall drainage system reduces the chances of spread of waterborne disease and physical damage to homes. This system also helps capture rainwater and help regenerate the natural reservoirs.

Vision for Chota Tingrai Tea Estate: Jyoti wishes for minimal plastic waste from the estate and wide-spread awareness about waste management among the residents of the estate.

Our waste management system in action

Our waste management project in action

We encourage a healthy, happy and engaged community at Chota Tingrai Tea Estate, and with the help of our team we achieve great results. Stay tuned for more updates about life in Chota Tingrai!


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