Monday, 6 March 2017


Recently, I read that we, meaning Indians, devalue physical labour and that it may hark back to our caste system. I disagree in some ways. It was so in the past, and may still be so in terms of social acceptance, but definitely not monetarily.
In our local private schools, a teacher has to work from 8 or 9 am till 4 pm 6 days a week and gets paid Rs 2500 per month.
Also, a household worker, cleaning the house and washing dishes, gets paid Rs 3000 per month for about 2 hours' work per day, about 26 to 27 days a month.
A college lecturer is recruited at 15000 per month starting pay at one of the better private colleges...most others pay less....around  8000-10000 per month.
Municipal sweepers, do a superficial cleaning of our roads  working from 6 am to 2 pm and make Rs 8000 per month starting pay, going to 15000 for the more senior ones.

I call a person to clean my garden. He asked me for Rs 500 for 3 hours work, though the going rate is 500 for the whole day. Even at 500 per day, digging and clearing the garden, which is not heavy manual labour, just light garden work, pays more than teaching in a school.
But the best job is cleaning airconditiones..... about 20 minutes of work consisting of gently brushing off the dust, washing filters and outdoor units, fetches them Rs 500 for each AC

The other side of this coin is heavy manual labour...many women in the construction industry get paid 400 per day of 7 hours. They lift bricks and mix the cement, while the mason (male) sits and applies the cement that she mixes and gives him- for which he gets paid Rs 600.

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