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Salaries For Giani'S And Granthi'S In Uk Gurdwaras

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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.

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Every word in the post is absolutely true .Even the raagis & pracharaks of

SGPC have to pay to SGPC a part of their income from abroad while on tour

to west, also they have to do muthi garam of every employee at SGPC WHO

is any way connected in clearing his file , then the sponsoring Gurdwara in UK

has to be compensated , and , we can imagine the quality of such ragis & granthis .

Cannot say why gurdwaras with high revenues do not employ trained & educated

granthis .In my lifespan extending app half century I have not come across a single

pracharak or granthi who is well versed in philosophy or comparative religion .

the reason as said in above post is obvious , and the result is visible in the new .

generation who are drifting away from faith. the voluntary work alone is not sufficient

to get back the youth , at gurdwara we must have qualified granthi who can answer

logically to the querries of the young people , and that cannot happen unless we

pay them handsomely

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this is a very subjective issue, granthis are not all the same..some are of very good character and are hard working and have knowledge about sikhism, these are also low paid. On the other hand you have granthis who are good for nothing and are interested only in monetary gain, these people are unqualified in every way and so therefore even 80.00 per week is enough for them.

both committees and granthis are corrupt and so are other leaders/institutions such as SGPC...This area is completely unregulated in every single way.

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coming from a family of granthis i got to agree with both posts above me lol. As they say "Dive thalle hanera (darkness under the lamp)" does apply to a lot of granthis.

Where i am from, the average wage of granthi is £50 with kirtan bhet amounting to around £15/week. So Granthis can expect around £65-£70 /week. This is only for one days seva roughly about 6 hours of work so i dont think its that bad.

Then there are granthis i know who are from india and earn up to £200/week. On gurpurabs this can increase to £300/week. So not all granthis do badly.

What i find disheartning is that member of sangat and commettee members will always have an eye on the granthi's money. You get these uncles who mention things like "we are on pension and we dont make this much and giyani is from india and he makes more than us". Finally let me tell you that its not about the money, it is about Visa stamps and maybe permanent residency. Granthis will take all the crap, take low wage until they get citizenship. After that they will still be ok with the low gurdwara salary because they can then have a proper second job.

Personally i think if we can help our people settle here and increase our numbers then we will face lots of problems.

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I hope one day that we start training our own Granthis, for how long will we get granthis from India? Next 7 generation ? I hope not.

The Granthis need a decent wage in the UK, maybe starting at £18,000 - rising to £25,000. All donations given by the Sangat goto the Gurudwara not the Granthi. Also we need to weed out the Granthis that only follow the path to migrate abroad, this is totally wrong although it probably happens. People should not be looking to become a granthi to become rich, rather the granthi should be focusing on the Guru and teaching the sangat and not worring about money.

As a side point the whole teaching of Guru Granth Sahib, should be done in english and then once the sangat start to understanding, slowly learning Gurbani. I am pretty sure that the Guru Granth Sahib have different langauges within it, and Guru Nanak devi ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji spoke different langauges to convey the teaching of God.

What is the point in sitting in the Gurudwara if one does not understand, other than hearing and experiencing Gods blessing, but we need to understand them as well and practice them .

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A really informative thread. Again something that needs to be addressed at a national level, taken forward by the newly self-appointed national gurdwara committee who appear to be formalising themselves via the Sikh Channel.

The development of the UK sangat is directly suffering as a result of this "system" the UK Gurdwara committees use in it's abuse and selection of Granthis and Gianis.

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Wow, I had no idea they had it that bad. The situation you described is not only illegal but also highly immoral, and I think it is human exploitation. The gurdwaras have so much money, so where is it all going if the gianis aren't being paid properly?

"As a side point the whole teaching of Guru Granth Sahib, should be done in english and then once the sangat start to understanding, slowly learning Gurbani. I am pretty sure that the Guru Granth Sahib have different langauges within it, and Guru Nanak devi ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji spoke different langauges to convey the teaching of God.

What is the point in sitting in the Gurudwara if one does not understand, other than hearing and experiencing Gods blessing, but we need to understand them as well and practice them ."

I think you hit on a major point here. Most of the punjabi sikhs I know can't understand a word of what is being said in a gurudwara, so how can anyone expect them to follow the religion? I can barely understand anything being said and have to rely on online english translations.

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At the end of the day, no investment in IT or any other technology can replace a the real necessity of the Giani or Granthi. Their influence can be so key in the Gurdwara and their input can have mass impact on the sangat......

This thread is a real eye-opener. Makes you really think about how people can be exploited under the current Gurdwara system.

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To be fair....being in a position to be able to send £80 to Punjab each week is to be in a very good position. At the end of the day we need to remember that there is no clergy in Sikhism. The Gianis are just doing a job. Usually a 'job' thats been the family occupation for generations. Other family's, where something like carpentary is the family occupation, only get to send £50 per week from Dubai and Muscat...and this is despite having to slave in very hard manual labour for 100 hours per week. The gianis have got it good.

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