Asset and Resource Hoarding

World’s lowest paid workers: Indian cleaners get just £64 after 40 YEARS of scrubbing toilets without a day off (and they’ve never had a pay rise!)

  • Two women have applied to  the Guinness World Records for the lowest salary in the  world

By Kerry Mcqueeney

PUBLISHED:11:24 EST, 22  October 2012| UPDATED:12:59 EST, 22 October 2012

 

 

For more than 40 years they’ve toiled away,  meticulously scrubbing and cleaning toilets in southern India

However, astonishingly, two dedicated  cleaners in India have only £64 EACH to show for their four decades of working  their fingers to the bone.

Akku and Leela Sherigar have earned an  average of 180 rupees – or £2 – a year. And for the last 11 years the have  worked for free following a dispute with their employer.

Record breakers? Akku and Leela Sherigar, both 59, have applied to the Guinness World Records for the lowest salary ever paid 

Record breakers? Akku and Leela Sherigar, both 59, have  applied to the Guinness World Records for the lowest salary ever paid

 

 

The two women, both aged 59, started working  as toilet cleaners for the Government’s Women Teacher’s  Training Institute, in  South India, in 1971, for 15 Rupees (18p) a month as fresh-faced  18-year-olds.

But they’ve not had a pay rise ever since,  even though they have never missed a day’s work.

Even though they are angry, they’ve  now  applied to the Guinness Book of World Records for the title of the  lowest  salary in the world.

Akku said: ‘We were promised a pay rise every  year but it never came. We trusted our employers that eventually they’d pay us.  We never believed it’d come to this.

Dedicated: The two women started working as toilet cleaners in South India, in 1971, for 15 Rupees (18p) a month 

Dedicated: The two women started working as toilet  cleaners in South India, in 1971, for 15 Rupees (18p) a month

‘We take pride in our work; we couldn’t give  it up. We have always hoped that we would get what we were promised.’

In 2001, they finally had enough and  complained to the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, in Udupi, near Goa, in  southwest India.

Then, their wages stopped altogether with no  mention of any reimbursement.

But the dedicated women still went into work  cleaning 21 toilets, three times a day, seven days a week.

And for the last 11 years, they have worked  for free.

Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of the Human  Rights Protection Foundation, in Udupi, has been helping the women take their  case to the Supreme Court of India.

However, even though the Karnataka  Administrative Tribunal ordered the government to pay out, in 2003, nothing was  given to the women.

And even after the same decision from the  High Court of Karnataka, in 2004, and the Supreme Court, in 2010, concluded the  government should pay out, they are yet to do so.

With the help of the Indian press and local  support Akku and Leela are now praying they’ll get what they’re deserved, plus  interest, before they can happily retire next year.

‘All we want is what is due to us, what our  hard work through the past 42 years deserves,’ Akku added.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221444/Indian-cleaners-earned-just-64-40-YEARS-scrubbing-toilets-day-off.html#ixzz2A4RhNOdk Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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