There are more than 1000 (one thousand) tea gardens in Assam where workers originally coming from Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have engaged themselves and subsequently settled in Assam permanently. They are known as Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, who are recognized as Other Backward Classes by the Government. These people not only constitute a sizable chunk of the population in the State but also play major role in tea production of the State (about 53% of the total tea production of the country) and this contributes to the economy of the State.
People belonging to the tea tribes communities are spread all over the State of Assam. Economically, they are quite backward and literacy level among these communities is extremely low. Some steps have been taken by the Government for improving the level of literacy and education besides other economic support for generating their family income under State plan. In order to achieve socio-economic development of the tea tribes people, the Government of Assam have been implementing welfare schemes through a separate Directorate viz. Directorate for Welfare of Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, Assam since 1983-1984 for speedy implementation of welfare schemes. Government of Assam created Tea Tribes Welfare Department in 2004 as Administrative Department vied Notification No. AR. 32/2004/34, dated 31-09-2004.