Pune: Honest janitor returns mangalsutra worth Rs 2 lakh

Updated: May 16, 2019, 07:45 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh |

The incident took place in a housing society in the posh Sadashiv Peth. The mangalsutra was worth Rs 2 lakh

Swati (in green jacket) and Audumbar Gaikwad with residents of the building where they work
Swati (in green jacket) and Audumbar Gaikwad with residents of the building where they work

It was a routine day on Tuesday for Swati Gaikwad, a 31-year-old janitor, who went about her job collecting garbage, when she came across a gold mangalsutra in a dustbin. The find did not tempt the honest woman, who informed her husband, and without wasting any more time, they returned it to its owner.

Swati and her husband, Audumbar, 40, stay with their two sons and daughter at Dandekar bridge. The couple which together earns about Rs 16,000 per month, works with a waste management NGO. They collect garbage, segregate it and then take it to the garbage unit. They also do other jobs around a housing society such as sweeping the premises etc.

The incident took place in a housing society in the posh Sadashiv Peth. Swati said, "As usual around 7.30 am, me and my husband began collecting garbage at the building. I noticed something was glittering in one of the dustbins for dry garbage. I found it was a mangalsutra."

She told Audumbar and they approached the family whose dustbin it was. "We rang the bell of the flat. We told the flat owner the gold mangalsutra was found in the dry garbage. He called his wife who was in tears and thanked us," Swati added. The mangalsutra was worth Rs 2 lakh.

Swati said, "We are hard working people and are doing this job for our children's future. These ornaments are also earned by their owners through hard work. So we returned it honestly. We won't betray those we work for."

The grateful owner of the mangalsutra, Rajeshree Dhumkar said, "I was cleaning my cupboard and dumped the waste in the dustbin, throwing the mangalsutra too, by mistake. I later searched the entire house to find it but had lost hope. I could not sleep the whole night and kept thinking where I might have kept it. I am really thankful to them. In this world where everyone wants to make money the easy way, it is good to see there still are some people who believe in earning the hard way."

As the news about the Gaikwads' gesture spread in the housing society, Swati and Audumbar were given R4,000 by a clinic nearby, as a reward. Audumbar said, "We will use this money for our daughter's computer class. It will help her in future. She has appeared for Std X exams. This is the first prize we have got and we want to use it for something good."

Rs 16,000
The amount the Gaikwads earn every month

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