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Women Sanitation Workers Win $1.2M Jackpot In Kerala Lottery

In June, a heartwarming story emerged from the southern Indian state of Kerala, where 11 women sanitation workers win $1.2M jackpot in Kerala lottery. The women from Parappanangadi town in Malappuram district decided to pool their money to purchase a lottery ticket.

Cecilia Jones
Aug 03, 2023272 Shares68064 Views
In June, a heartwarming story emerged from the southern Indian state of Kerala, where 11 women sanitation workers win $1.2M jackpot in Kerala lottery. The women from Parappanangadi town in Malappuram district decided to pool their money to purchase a lottery ticket. Last week, their excitement reached new heights when they discovered that they had won the incredible jackpot of 100 million rupees.
These remarkable women are part of a group dedicated to collecting non-biodegradable waste from households in their community. Their regular income primarily comes from monthly payments made by the households, which amount to around 250 rupees a day. On occasion, they also receive a share of the revenue generated by the local corporation through selling the segregated waste they collect.
Despite their tireless efforts, the income they earn is simply not enough to make ends meet. Many of these hardworking women have had to resort to borrowing money and taking loans to support their children's education and cover other essential expenses.
To improve their financial situation, the women would occasionally combine their resources to buy a lottery ticket, hoping for a stroke of luck. While lotteries are mostly illegal in many Indian states, Kerala's government itself runs a highly popular and legitimate lottery program, with private lotteries being banned in the state.
"Once, we won a 1,000-rupee prize and shared it," says MP Radha, who usually buys tickets for the group.
Last month, the group made a decision to purchase a 250-rupee ticket for a monsoon bumper prize lottery, which is usually issued for special occasions like festivals. Kuttimalu, who is 72 years old, reveals that she felt a bit disheartened during the time when Radha was collecting funds for the ticket because she didn't have sufficient money to contribute.
"Then Cherumannil Baby (another member of the group) told me she had 25 rupees and was willing to lend me half of it for the ticket," she said.

Heartwarming Story Of Sanitation Workers: 11 Kerala Women Pool In Rs 250, Hit Rs. 10 Crore Jackpot

The two women, Kuttimalu and Radha, contributed 12.5 rupees each towards their share of the ticket, whereas the other nine women paid 25 rupees each.
We agreed we would get an equal share if we won anything. We didn't expect to win such a huge amount of money!- Ms. Kuttimalu
The women discovered their lottery win a day after the draw when one of them requested her husband to check the results.
"This is the fourth time we bought a ticket for the bumper prize," Ms Radha says."We are fourth time lucky!"
Ms. Baby, aged 62, shares her astonishment over the group hitting the jackpot, stating, "Luck was never on my side." She recounts how her house was swept away during the devastating floods that struck Kerala in 2018. Now, with the lottery win, she intends to use the funds to build a new house and pay off her debts.
Several other women in the group have similar tales to narrate. For instance, K Bindu, 50, lost her husband to kidney failure just last year because the family couldn't afford the money required for his transplant.
He used to buy lottery tickets with the money we kept for dialysis. He left us without finishing the construction of our house. I have to complete it now.- Ms. K Bindu
After their life-changing win, the 11 women reached the agency's office as usual to resume their work on Friday.
Ms. Bindu, who tragically lost her husband due to kidney failure, expresses her desire to use the money to educate her 15-year-old daughter so she can secure a good job in the future. Her husband, a construction worker, faced difficulty finding work during the heavy rains in the state. Now, with the lottery prize, the couple is relieved that they can afford to invest in their daughter's education.
For Lakshmi, 42, who works collecting waste, the lottery win means a brighter future for her family. Her husband's struggle to find work due to the heavy rains has been a challenge, and the prize money brings hope for better days ahead.
Leela, 56, had been worried about how to pay for her daughter's surgery. She had already borrowed money for her daughter's wedding by taking a loan against her house. With the lottery windfall, the burden is lifted, and she can now focus on her daughter's health.
After paying government taxes, the group will receive 63 million rupees. Ms. Baby and Ms. Kuttimalu will divide their share of 6.3 million rupees equally between them, while the remaining women will each get 6.3 million rupees.


Apart from their work in waste collection, the women also contribute to constructing public toilets and installing waste disposal facilities, as directed by KT Balabhaskaran, the director of the Suchitwa Mission, the agency that coordinates these efforts across the state.
"We decided one thing," Ms Leela says. "We will not leave this job because it was this collective that brought us prosperity."
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