India: A Call Center Sanctuary?

Posted on November 16, 2010 in Specials

By Malvika Joshi:

It is past midnight. Lights are twinkling and shadows walking inside the huge structures made out of glass and metal. This is a typical view one gets as one drives down the deserted roads of the Indian metros in the dead of the night. What are these structures? These are the fancy office buildings. We also call them call centres.

Irrespective of employment opportunities created by them and allowing the absorption of work force with minimal qualifications, these call centres, and back offices have also had latent destructive effects. Are we still in the colonial era where the westerners consider our country as a source of cheap labour? Sadly, the answer is yes. What these offices pay is quite enough for an Indian but not enough if you compare it with our western counterparts. Here, In India, one can splurge on expensive clothes, gadgets and parties. But is this what we call leading a purposeful life? Is materialism everything for us? Higher education is taking a backseat because everyone wants quick money. What about a career? After having a far better IQ than the countries that have set up their back end operations in India, we are just stooping down to petty jobs. Working European and US shifts, which start post noon and get over only post midnight, not only ruin the biological clock but leads to heart problems and mood swings. Apart from health and career, our culture is going to the dogs. Working five days a week and thronging the pubs and cinema halls is the trend. There is no place for creativity either at work or over the weekends. The work involves faking accents and gaping at the computers for hours. The result is decline in creativity and rise of wannabes. Crimes have also increased as people return late from work.

The questions we are left with are – “Are we incapable of creating jobs ourselves?” “Why cannot the population that will be unemployed post Ohio ban on outsourcing to India, be absorbed by indigenous companies?” “Is this real independence?” Think over it!

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