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Indian students are now taking up blue collar jobs with their parents’ blessings. But has the NRI mindset towards dignity of labour really changed?

8/29/2014 3:39:51 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian with Maya Gadre Print

“This summer my daughter has taken up a vacation job at a health café, its high time she started earning some money,” said a mother at a social gathering. Another talked gushingly about the enriching experience her son had after he too had done similar work. After schools, universities/colleges and extra-curricular courses, Non-resident Indians (NRIs) seem to be now discussing matters related to part-time work. Is this a genuine change in the Indian mind-set or is it just a passing fad? Most Indian students and parents India Se spoke to came from well-to-do backgrounds who did not require to work, but still chose to take up minimum pay jobs to make some extra cash. 

Parents felt that this was a good way to make children understand ‘how to make ends meet’ while for students it taught them the harder lessons of a working life. “It makes you realise how much hard work it takes to earn money,” said Roopsi Gulati, (20), a Diploma in Management Studies student at SIM Singapore, who previously worked as a receptionist at Estee Lauder. Despite small perks like getting free testers, she said, “I earned $10 dollars an hour. I wasn’t allowed to take more than one break of more than 15 minutes, that included my lunch and toilet break.”

Other students much like Gulati have faced similar issues at their workplace. “When I worked in a retail store, customers would get personal and complain about the quality of clothes even though they knew that I didn’t make the clothes. I was just a sales associate,” said third year criminology and psychology student Salena Nanwani. Nanwani wanted to be financially independent and hence took up this job.

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