A woman recruited from India to work in Britain and paid as little as 11p an hour has been awarded nearly Â£184,000 compensation in one of the UK’s first claims of caste discrimination.
Permila Tirkey, from Bihar ”“ one of India’s poorest states – was kept in domestic servitude by her employers in Milton Keynes and forced to work as their cleaner and nanny.
Tirkey’s family are Adivasi people who are dark skinned, poor and of low caste. They describe themselves as being from the “servant class” comprising of Hindus and Christians.
Her employers, Ajay and Pooja Chandhok, both originally Hindus, were found by an employment tribunal to have made her work for 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tirkey, a Christian, was required to sleep on a mattress on the floor, prevented from bringing her bible to the UK, not allowed to contact her family and given a bank account which was controlled by her employers. Her ordeal lasted four and a half years.