Helping hand stirs GTAC cup of tea
It is going to be business, emotional connect and joining hands for a cause on Tuesday at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).
The grand charity tea auction, organised by the GTAC and partnered by The Telegraph, and held to support three organisations working in the disability sector on World Disability Day will also be an emotional occasion for the GTAC to connect with people who started the centre in 1970, braving opposition and surmounting problems.
The three organisations which will benefit from the proceeds of the auction are Moran Blind School, and Vaani and Shishu Sarothi, both NGOs.
“It is an important day for us as we will work towards restoring the brand equity of GTAC and showing our solidarity for a social cause. We are calling all those who were connected with the first sale in GTAC in September 1970. A lot of effort has gone into starting the centre which had faced a lot of opposition,” industries and commerce minister Pradyut Bordoloi told The Telegraph.
A total of 26,667kg tea will be auctioned at two venues in the city — GTAC and Indian Tea Association, Pragjyoti auditorium at Machkhowa — to raise funds for the cause of disability.
“The cause is good and buyers will like to associate their name with it. They will not be miserly and would pay good price,” Nirav Patel, a tea buyer for a major tea packet firm of the country, told this correspondent. Top people in the tea industry apart from buyers from Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur and Calcutta will take part in the event.
Sources said teas could fetch anything between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
The first venue is the GTAC where 23,235kg will be auctioned in 96 lots in the morning. In the evening, the auction will be held at Indian Tea Association, Pragjyoti auditorium, Machkhowa, which will be attended by chief minister Tarun Gogoi. In this session, 3,432kg tea will be auctioned.
Apart from the organised tea sector, bought-leaf factories, too, have sent tea. Two gardens from Arunachal Pradesh are also participating in the auction. Among the top companies, McLeod Russel is offering 1,505kg while Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd is giving 304kg. Apart from CTC (crush, tear and curl) tea, different grades of orthodox tea are also on offer.
In fact, the highest amount of tea being offered by a single garden is Segunbari Tea Company Ltd of Margherita. The company is offering 1,228 kg of broken pekoe grade.
“I had earlier sent only a few packages, but later increased it substantially when I came to know about the cause,” Gautam Beria of Segunbari Tea Company Ltd said. “There has been so much of criticism of the tea sector and I think this is the best platform from where we can say that we also care for society,” he said.
“By organising this auction for the benefit of civil society organisations working for the disabled, GTAC has once again re-affirmed its commitment to social responsibility,” Arman Ali, executive director of Shishu Sarothi, said. Brinda Crishna, managing trustee of Vaani, said: “ The biggest advantage will be creation of awareness on disability. A new section of people will be knowing about it,” she added.