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Kerala women win hearts by returning gold found in garbage

(From Left) Reena Saji, and Ancy Johnson look on as panchayat president Biju M A hands over the gold to its owner. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Two women of Vannappuram panchayat in Idukki, Kerala have won the hearts of the people when they returned gold ornaments, which they found amidst plastic waste, to its rightful owner. Despite facing a lot of financial problems, both Reena Saji, 43, and Ancy Johnson, 46, who work as members of Harithakarma Sena collecting plastic waste, returned the gold reminding us of the importance of honesty and integrity.

“We don’t want anything that is not ours. We are happy with the income from our job,” Reena Saji told “Open Digest”. The gold ornaments were returned to its rightful owner by Vannappuram panchayat president Biju M A in the presence of ward member Jagadamma Vijayan, Reena Saji and Ancy Johnson.

Both Reena Saji and Ancy Johnson used to collect plastic waste from houses in Ward No 16 once in a month. As they were rummaging through the collected plastic waste for segregating it last week, they noticed a small plastic cover with some clanking sound. “Initially, we thought that it would be broken glass pieces. People used to dump broken glass pieces along with plastic waste. But when we opened the cover, we saw a ring and two earrings inside it. We were surprised. The ornaments looked old and it might be imitation gold,” Reena said.

However, the duo took the ornaments to a nearby jewellery shop which confirmed that they were original gold. Soon, the two women contacted their ward member Jagadamma Vijayan, who sent out an alert in the whatsapp group of the ward. “We need to really appreciate the honesty of both Reena and Ancy. The ornaments belonged to an old woman in the ward. She kept it wrapped in a plastic cover in the kitchen before going for a bath. Her son, without knowing there were ornaments in it, dumped the cover in the plastic waste. The old woman later forgot where she kept the ornaments. Only when we sent the alert in the group, she remembered it,” said Jagadamma Vijayan.

“We all are happy that we could return the ornaments to its rightful owner,” said president Biju. The panchayat praised both Reena and Ancy for their selflessness and honesty.

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