Rina Darnal – Tea Artisan

Pathbreaker on tea trail! 

Meet the first woman Supervisor at Turzum Tea Estate – Rina Darnal.

Hierarchies and mores of tea gardens are often as old as the bushes.  Until about 5 years back, majority of pluckers at Turzum Tea Estate were women and all of the Supervisors were men.  That was how it had been and that is how it was supposed to be.

Rina Darnal had other ideas.

Rina came to Turzum as a young bride in 1995 and joined the garden in 1998 as a plucker.  Her husband was a polio victim and she had two young boys to support.  Rina worked hard as a plucker but also acquired multiple tea farming skills along the way.  After 13 years as a Tea plucker, her leadership, diligence and tea craft was recognized by the management and she earned her badge as a Supervisor, breaking the traditional male dominated rung of the ladder.

As a true pathbreaker, Rina’s accent inspired several others to commit to the profession with a renewed zeal and with the confidence that the proverbial “glass ceiling” had been shattered.  Following Rina’s footsteps, there are a number of women in the supervisor ranks often performing better than their male counterparts.

Rina’s economic conditions and social relevance has improved significantly.  Her elder son studied up to high school and works in sales.  Her younger son is pursuing pre-university education in Darjeeling.  She is the role model for the family and the society.

It has been 4 years since Rina made a supervisor.  Today she harbors hopes to become the chief supervisor.

Chiyabari wishes her the best. May her dreams come true.

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