The Plantation Worker

Daily wage worker in a plantation. Shot in Munnar, Kerala, India.

This is Pushyanthan. He is a plantation worker in Idukki, Kerala. He tirelessly works through the rain to clear the land for planting cardamom.

Every day, he makes his way through the plantations, hacking down the stray foliage. He is adept at everything, from clearing the soil of weeds to digging the pits and planting the saplings. Nothing escapes his keen eye.

Then, switching to his spade, he strikes the ground, churning up the ground for the saplings. With perfect technique, he drives the shovel into the mud, repeating the process. He shifts from one place to another, making short work of the damp soil.

His hands are rough and calloused, thanks to the intensive labour. This contradicts his cheerful demeanour, for he thrums with exuberance.

During the monsoon, rain sluices down the landscape. Undeterred, he trudges ahead, for this work is his only sustenance.

He reminded me of a character from the Tintin comics. Was it Thompson or Thomson? I can’t tell which.

Pushyanthan is a consummate worker, one who shoulders the work of many. 

There are countless people like Pushyanthan across the globe. They survive on a measly daily wage, one that supports their entire families. We must acknowledge the crucial role they play in our society.

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Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am an 18 year old, based out of Bangalore, India.

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