In Assam, This School Dropout Owns World’s First Elephant-Friendly Tea Garden

Tenzing Bodosa has proved that change is inevitable with his mission to sustain human existence keeping in harmony with nature


Apparently fate had other plans for Tenzing Bodosa after he dropped out of high school at a tender age to help his mother look after their two extensive farms in BTAD region’s Udalguri district.

And after 20 something years, Tenzing has proved that change is inevitable with his mission to sustain human existence keeping in harmony with nature. In the 500-600 bigha land owned by his family, about 130 bigha plot is used for organic tea cultivation and the rest is used for the homegrown forest creating a path for animal habitat and eco-tourism.

Tea garden labourers, visitors busy plucking leaves from the tea garden
Tenzing Bodosa at his tea garden

“Assam is known globally for its tea and after doing extensive research on its production, I got to know about the varied tea plants, its flavours. In an agrarian state like ours, I was suggested to use pesticides and other chemicals but I had a totally different mindset. I thought we start our day with a cup of tea and it cannot be started with any poisonous substance and that’s when I started researching about organic farming,” said Tenzing while speaking to Time8.

Tenzing Bodosa at his tea garden

In a widespread unabated felling of trees, man-elephant conflict zone in Udalguri district, Tenzing has the perfect solution to lessen the issue with his trademarked Tenzing Bodosa Organic Tea Farm. This farm does not use pesticides, have not installed electric fences and avoids digging deep drainages creating the world’s first elephant-friendly tea garden.

Tenzing’s homegrown forest

“Most of the tea gardens dig deep drainages for the excess water to surpass so that the plants survive. I have avoided doing so as every day several baby elephants die after falling into the ditch during migration. Our farms neither use any chemical solution in the plants and nor have we installed electrical fencing. The farm is very animal-friendly as there is enough space for them to move without causing any hindrance,” he added.

Elephant herd at the tea garden

“In the 500-600 bigha land, I have used only 130 bigha plot for farming and the rest is a homegrown forest. Elephants migrate and use the same direction even after several years, so to keep their movement safe I thought of providing them with enough food for survival. We have fruits, bamboo,  elephant grass, banana plants in the forest,” Tenzing shared.

Elephant herd migrating along the tea garden
A plant bearing fruits for the elephants

The Udalguri entrepreneur believes that in a move to maintain the ecosystem and to keep up with the ever-changing fast pace of modernization, there should be a balance of co-existence of fellow living beings.

“Growing forest is important. There can be a part of the forest even in the cities so that the concrete life does not affect the animals, birds,” he added

Tenzing’s tea garden exports its final produce to the USA, Canada, France and provides a livelihood to hundreds of people. His farms also boasts of eco-tourism attracting global tourists every year.

Eco-tourism under the leadership of Tenzing

Photo: Tenzing Bodosa