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Plight Of Uk Granthis


SURYADEV
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Here is a posting on SS.com you guys may find interesting.

Its by Harjap Bhangal - a UK-based immigration lawyer. He talks about the situation with granthis at UK temples.

http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?/topic/53833-salaries-for-gianis-and-granthis-in-uk-gurdwaras/

*******

WJKK WJKF,

I have dealings with Giani's and Granthi's on a daily basis due to their visa problems and have made the following observations and just want to know everybody's views on the subject:

1). I have never seen a single Giani or Granthi till date who has been issued with a single wage slip. Forget a P60....not even one wage slip...i have dealt with over 300 applications. Gurdwaras dont even pay their National Insurance contributions for their own employee. These are not just the small Gurdwara's but even the big ones.

2). The majority of them are brought over from India on visas the conditions of which state they will abide by National Minumum wage, however upon getting here the Giani's NI is not paid by the employer and no wage slip or P60 is issued to a Giani.

3). The common practice is to say that the Gurdwara provides free food and accomodation to the Giani as part of his salary package. From my knowledge langar is free to everybody (unless Giani's get special dishes which i doubt). As for accomodation the Gurdwara also benefits as it gets a full time employee guarding the premises.

4). From my personal experience many Giani's dont even get paid more than £80 per week (i have seen some on £40 per week). Out of this the Giani is expected to maintain himself and his wife and children back home. Try feeding a family of 4 on £80 per week.

5). Many people complain that Giani's who come from India work elsewhere and do other jobs. I would suggest the reason for this is the low wages given to them. If they got minimum wage they would not need to work elsewhere.

6). Unfortunately i have also seen many cases of where these Giani's have actually been charged in India by some committee members in order to get a visa. I was once sat in the British High Commission in New Delhi and personally saw 4 Jatha sitting there waiting to apply. After they all got refused they came to me for advice and it turned out none of them were Ragi's at all. In fact they had agreed to pay the Pardhaan of a Gurdwara 8 lakh rupees for each visa (roughly £10,000). One of the applicants bechara had been told for the last year to grow a beard and "learn some path" by the Pardhaan. I have a witness to this event as seated next to me was the owner of a famous UK based punjabi radio station. Even he was shocked.

My points are 2 fold:

Firstly we complain about the quality of Giani's and Granthi's however nobody has ever exposed the situation or fought for the rights of them (i recently did a show on Sukh Sagar Radio about this and exposed a few home truths). How are we expected to get top quality employees in any field if we are unwilling to pay them the appropriate salaries (forget expected salaries they dont even get minumum wage). What actually is happening is akin to bonded labour where a Giani is promised to be made permanent in the UK in return for ignoring his basic employee rights.

Secondly we complain about many things however how come nobody complains about the immigration fraud openly carried out by the Gurdwara committees over the years? Where has all of this money charged from potential Giani's to come to the UK gone? In order to sponsor a Giani letterheads of Gurdwaras have been openly misused. The Same letterheads contain quotes from the Gurbani on them. The Gurdwara has become a source of earning money from potential immigrants.

If anybody was expected to survive in the UK on £60 a week and bring up a family and work full time then surely any person would look for alternative employment. However the Giani's cant even do that because they are tied down to their Gurdwara for up to 5 years.

Please note i am not saying that all Gurdwaras engage in these practices but the majority of the ones i have seen have done in the past and these include some big Gurdwara's. I may be worng in my points however i only comment on my own experiences and dealings with Giani's and Gurdwaras. I would love to hear what Gurdwara committees actually have to say on this issue.

*******

PS he's from my nanke pind, so big up Mr Bhangal!!! ;)

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I think that Hapjap Singh should approach the committees and advise them that given that they do not comply with UK employment law they need to change their ways immediately otherwise the committee members could face charges and the Gurdwara could lose it's charity status.

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I think that Hapjap Singh should approach the committees and advise them that given that they do not comply with UK employment law they need to change their ways immediately otherwise the committee members could face charges and the Gurdwara could lose it's charity status.

What effect would that have? These guys use deception and dishonesty as an everyday norm.

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