We sat down with Anandi Mahadoo, who has been working at the Yemen salt pans for 30 years. Her positive attitude is only matched by her passion for her work.
The Yemen salt pans are a national treasure. They have been in operation for 75 years and are the only remaining salt works on our island. Anandi Mahadoo is well aware of their worth. “My mother was a salt worker here. I was 10-11 years old when I started coming with her to give her a hand. And I officially took a job here after I got married.”
During the harvest period, Anandi is busy working in her salt basins six hours a day. “Each of us has our own basins.” She is a tireless worker who spends her time scraping, knocking, brushing and shovelling. “The crystals become sticky when it rains. Then you have to break the coarse salt to remove it from the bottom of the basin.” Fortunately, Anandi has flexible working conditions. She can decide to start work earlier, continue later in the afternoon and even get help to speed up things if she wants.
When the salt harvesting season is over, the determined salt worker spends her time cleaning the basins, then sewing gunny bags, filling them with salt and weighing them. “I can do everything and I love doing everything!”
“I like to work here! You do have days when it’s not so easy. But I’ve been a salt worker since 1992 and I come to work every morning with a real love for what I do. The salt pans mean a lot to me and I hope they will be around as long as I live!” proudly says Anandi to those who ask her why she wouldn’t prefer an another job.
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