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  Thirst for tea takes away childrens' choices
Updated 19 February 2002, 17.21
Studying in class in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka produces more tea than any other country in the world - and the world's thirst for the hot drink means many children have no choice but to end up working in tea plantations.

Difficult life

Not only is picking tea leaves hot, back-breaking work, but workers only get paid about 50p a day.

Working on the plantation
Working on the plantation
It's a hard life in the plantation, the job is very difficult," said a boy living on the Talawakelle Estate in central Sri Lanka.

The plantations stretch for miles across the island, and around a million Sri Lankan children will find themselves working in the fields when they have grown up.

Qualifications are 'only way out'

Everyone in Sri Lanka has to go to school until they're 16.

And although the classrooms are dirty and crowded, the children know that good qualifications are the only way of avoiding working in the plantations.

Determined to be a doctor
Determined to be a doctor
Lots of the chldren talk about wanting to be doctors or teachers.

However, because many are poor, only very few will have enough money to study for those qualifications.

But it doesn't stop the children believing they will achieve a better life.

As one boy put it: "My aim is to become a doctor and I'm confident I will achieve that."

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