In 2000, when she lost it, gold was priced at Rs 4,400 a sovereign. Today, it is valued at Rs 40,000.

MGNREGA workers unearth Kerala womans gold earring lost 20 years agoMGNREGA workers with Narayani
news Human Interest Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 14:01

Narayani velyamma* had lost her gold earring in a paddy field outside her home 20 years ago. She lived in Edampooradi in Bedadka panchayat of Kerala’s Kasargod district, and had bought it after giving away three paras of paddy (one para is roughly equivalent to eight kilos) many decades ago. She searched high and low, but it was not to be found.

However, luck, or the work of women farming in the field 20 years later, saw the elderly lady get back her earring, now worth ten times its value in the year 2000.

“A few women – workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme – were ploughing the fields as part of the Subiksha Keralam project. That’s when one of them called Baby unearthed the earring. It was covered in mud but they realised it was gold. One of the women with Baby happened to be Narayani’s daughter Malini. She recognised the earring as the one her mother had lost,” says Padmavthi E, district panchayat member.

Narayani is believed to have bought it 60 to 70 years ago after saving money from the farming she did. The loss of the jewellery was a story the entire neighbourhood knew, for they had all searched for weeks in vain. So, when the women found this earring on the same land, there was no doubt who it belonged to.

They washed the earring and took it to Narayani, who now lives a little further away, after her old house was demolished. Narayani, wearing a green lungi and blouse, received the unexpected discovery with joy. She sat on a chair as the women put the gold in her hand.

In 2000, when she lost it, gold was priced at Rs 4,400 a sovereign. Today, it is valued at Rs 40,000.

Padmavathi put the story out on Facebook, and it didn’t take long for it to go viral.

(*velyamma is respectful term for old woman in Malayalam)

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