The urge to unite
for a common cause - a very prevalent trait years ago
and also now - gave birth to UPASI on 28th August 1893.
Thirteen District Planting Associations assembled on 28th
August 1893 in the Mayo Hall, Bangalore for a UNITED organization;
thus the United Planters' Association of Southern India
During these years UPASI was not a bystander
but an insider in the metamorphosis that has taken place
in the country. In the historical event of India gaining
Independence and subsequently declaring as a Sovereign
Republic, the gradual and smooth ownership change from
British to Indians, in the social reforms, building
up of the infrastructure, in the awakening of the country
and in hundreds of such momentous journey of the nation,
UPASI adapted itself to the changes with remarkable
resilience. It is a measure of the statesmanship, pragmatic
leadership and foresight of those who were at the helm
of affairs of UPASI that ripples created by these developments
on the functioning of UPASI were not allowed to become
Differences notwithstanding; it is this macro level
approach of adjustment to changing times, to changing
Government styles and approaches, to expectations and
aspirations of those connected with plantation industry,
that led to acceptance of the representative character
and credibility of UPASI by the powers that be at various
times. UPASI was heard with respect. UPASI was given
place in various Committees and Forums.
And that continues even today.
It was the foresight of the founding fathers of UPASI
that for achieving unity among planters of different
regions and crops, a pyramidal structure was conceived,
starting from District Planters Associations to State
Planters Associations and at the apex level UPASI.
Today there are 13 District Planting Associations
and 3 State Planters Associations affiliated to UPASI.
Enlightened planters decades back chalked out programmes
and activities of UPASI encompassing areas, such as,
research, welfare schemes for workers, sports etc. UPASI
and State Planters Association have been entering into
settlements with the Unions which had lead to comparatively
better industrial relations climate in the planting
Appreciating the fact that Research is the backbone
of development, tea planters of South India set up a
Tea Research Institute in Tamil Nadu as early as 1936.
Yet another unique feature of the bygone era was that
planting industry took lead in implementing labour welfare
measures legislated and by far the benefits given under
the schemes were above the legislative frame.