Tag Archives: India

Third place of SAN Photo Contest merges photography and agriculture into his life

Third place of SAN Photo Contest merges photography and agriculture into his life

Niraj Mani Chourasia

Niraj Mani Chourasia is the third place winner of the SAN Photo Contest. His winning photo details an ant carrying a drop of water and was taken in the certified tea estate Nonaipara, in India.

Niraj has been working in the farm for over a year and on a daily basis he is supervising plucking and other Garden operations. He is also in charge of the well-being of the rest of the workers and motivates them to follow the sustainability principles.

But above all, Niraj is as passionate as can be about sustainability and photography. The SAN talked with Niraj about his two passions:

SAN: Tell us the story behind your photo

Niraj Mani Chourasia: I am lucky to capture this mesmerizing event through my camera’s lens just after the rain. In this Garden ants and other flora and fauna can be seen because of ecological balance.

This picture indicates two different sides of a story. Firstly, it shows the importance & power of water to nurture the whole garden, and is also giving a warning by capturing the movement of the ant because of gravitational pull, indicating a two way sword kind of issue, if water conservation is not considered seriously.

Third place winner photo

It is our responsibility to hold the water, when our life is being hold by water. At this moment, it is the demand of time and we should handle the situation. The way the photo balances between both scenarios shows how any unbalance can cause casualties.

SAN: So photography means a lot to you

NMC: Yes, it is a mean for self-discovery & realization for me. I feel that I just help nature to convey the message through my photos. It has also spark some interest in identifying species of flora and fauna in the Garden.

SAN: And working in a certified farm, what do you think is the most important thing you do to achieve sustainability?

NMC: I think the most important thing about certification is being organized, disciplined, effective, more productive and responsible for what we do in a regular basis.

Certification has help us with our continual improvement and with the removal of wastage and implementation of sustainable techniques.

SAN: What is the most difficult thing for farmers throughout the process of certification and working towards sustainability?

NMC: In my opinion only lack of knowledge and insight to see the benefits of certification. It is not difficult, you just need dedication and willingness to go for it.

SAN: In your opinion, how certification has improve your farm?

NMC: Before certification, there was less awareness among the people regarding sustainability, natural conservation and the systematic approach to handle the work.

But after certification, now we have developed many standard procedure for handling any particular type of job in an effective & productive way. The training has raised the awareness among the people and has touched every single individual in my team.

You can check out some of Niraj’s photos in this gallery:

New living wage benchmark for carpet weaving workers in rural India has been published

New living wage benchmark for carpet weaving workers in rural India has been published

The Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) has estimate the living wage for workers in the carpet weaving industry for rural Uttar Pradesh, India. The estimate for November-December 2015 is Rs.8,929 ($133) per month.

This marks the first study in carpets and in rural India. The GLWC identified India as a focus country, as its labor force is second in number only to China’s, yet it is riddled with workers’ rights concerns. Walk Free’s Slavery Index estimates 18 million people are enslaved in India, more than any other country, and the ILO estimates 5.7 million of the world’s child laborers are Indian.


Carpet and textile production are among India’s leading employers. According to the Indian government’s census, Uttar Pradesh, a manufacturing hub for this sector, has the country’s highest number of child laborers.

The study is based upon a new methodology developed by Anker and Anker (2016) that builds and improves on their earlier work on living wages published by the ILO. The Anker methodology has gained widespread acceptance among diverse stakeholders globally and has been used to estimate living wages in ten countries for a multi-national corporation, as well as in rural, urban, and non-metropolitan urban areas in 25 locations spread across 17 countries.

The SAN/Rainforest Alliance system is a member of the GLWC alongside Fairtrade InternationalForest Stewardship Council (FSC)GoodweaveUTZ , Social Accountability International (SAI) and the ISEAL Alliance.

Follow the links below for more information:

— More information on the Global Living Wage Coalition

— Read the full benchmark study in our library

— Sign up for regular updates from the Global Living Wage Coalition

Click this infographic for all the report details:



The Rainforest Alliance Responds to New Report on Working Conditions on Tea Farms in India

The Rainforest Alliance Responds to New Report on Working Conditions on Tea Farms in India

The Rainforest Alliance acknowledges the recent report by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) on working conditions on tea estates in India currently certified by the Rainforest Alliance in accordance with the standards set forth by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

Many of the report’s recommendations are built into the existing SAN standard—however we welcome the findings of the paper published on 30 August 2016, A Cup Half Empty and appreciate the ICN’s efforts to highlight the deeply rooted and systematic issues that are prevalent in the tea sector.

We will take these recommendations into consideration as we continue our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and look forward to working with the ICN and the industry as a whole towards better social and environmental outcomes in the Indian tea sector.

Further inquiries can be sent to comms@ra.org