THE STORY OF DEO PRASAD SHARMA – AMBOOTIA, INDIA

At Ambootia, “tea is a way of nature.” Many kinds of specialty teas are produced at Ambootia, based on different plucking and manufacturing mechanisms.

My name is Deo Prasad Sharma aged 52 years. Born and brought up in Ambootia tea estate. Both of my parents were workers at the tea gardens. My father, who recently passed away, was also the priest of the Shiva temple in the Ambootia tea estate. In terms of my education, I have a Bachelor degree in Arts.

Darjeeling Specialties

The unique combination of weather, nature, soil, tea bushes make it possible to produce the finest teas in the world. This gives Darjeeling tea its unique distinction not found anywhere else in the world. Thus, it is the most sought after and highly valued tea.

State of the art tea growing

Darjeeling tea estates are located on an ideal altitude. The region has a pleasant and optimal climate for tea production throughout the year.

The Ambootia tea garden which was taken over by our company in a sick and derelict condition was converted to 100% organic in 1992. Subsequently, it was Demeter certified in 1995. Biodynamic agriculture emphasizes the development and the interdependent relationship of soil, mineral, plants, and animals in a self-sustaining system whilst avoiding external inputs.

At Ambootia we focus on soil condition and soil fertility. In order to prevent soil erosion and provide nutrition to the plant we apply intercropping of leguminous plants.

Our agricultural practice is in compliance with organic and biodynamic agricultural guidelines as well as international food safety standards and social sustainability standards.

The Biodynamic farming methods have led to the discontinuation of the use of agro-chemicals and pesticides, ensuring cleaner drinking water and fresher air for the Ambootia workers.

Due to the successful adoption of organic and biodynamic cultivation practices the Ambootia tea estate has been selected as model organic farm by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Every department and section on Ambootia Tea estate has a particular routine which is followed to the point. Our work starts early in the morning at 8:00 am and our first shift continues till 11.30 am when we break for lunch. After lunch the work continues till 4:00 pm, when we close for the day. Since, I am in a supervisory role, sometimes I may require to extend the work hours a little more to ensure the completion of work planned for the day. 

Developments since 1992

I have been working here at Ambootia Tea Estate since 1992.
There has been a lot of development from when I had started working in the tea estate. The improvement and development has been steady and it has been on many aspects.

Among others we acheived improvement in the work culture and the social security. Further we saw considerable improvements in the health of the workers as a result of better hygiene and sanitation standards.

Many workers have had the opportunity to get education and follow vocational trainings. This resulted in an enhanced income and consequently in a better life style for the Family.

In the tea factory we implemented state-of-the-art machinery. Modernized equipment , both at the gardens and factory, has reduced strenuous labour work like lifting heavy objects, chests etc. considerably

Way of nature

At Ambootia, “tea is a way of nature.” Many kinds of specialty teas are produced at Ambootia, based on different plucking and manufacturing mechanisms.

Some of the specialty teas are Golden Pekoe, Mystic Darjeeling, Green Sleeves, Rising Sun and Special Green.

Special Green

Nature, Climate & Elevation

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the garden enjoys a unique combination of climate and elevation that give its teas a distinct character. Located at an altitude of approximately 3000 feet, we enjoy a pleasant climate throughout the year

 

Organic and Bio-dynamic
At the tea estate we have our own nurseries for growing organic and 100 % GMO* free tea trees.
We take care of the preparation of Bio-dynamic compost and vermin compost from the cow dung sourced from the worker’s families within the tea estate.
Next to that we prepare and use various biodynamic preparations.

All development at our estate has been beneficial to the people who live and work at the tea estate. However, there can always be some scope for improvement. For example, the organization may further build on the current hygiene standards, install of modern machinery etc.

I am happy with the working and living conditions at Ambootia. It is far better from many other gardens where the conditions are not sustainable. I have a sense of belongingness to Ambootia. I have been blessed with a very good management, wonderful co-workers; I also enjoy a decent quality of life.

Ambition

I have been associated with the garden for almost 25 years. Before me, my parents were also workers at tea gardens, but I can proudly say that I am associated with Ambootia and believe in holistic improvement and development.

Goals For This Project