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September 19, 2010 / pkdhodapkar

The most risky professions in India!

No, this post is not about “Khatron Ke Khiladi” or about people who work in mines or workers in high rise buildings. I am talking about very ordinary people. Let us read their stories (note-real names changed).

Amar is a caretaker in guest house of XYZ Company. His job keeps him busy for most of the day as well as night (yes, guests do drop in at odd hours). Assisted by a small team, he has to cook meals and keep in touch with the administrative office of the company. He helps the guests in many ways- traveling arrangements, information related to shopping in the city, etc. Due to the nature of his work, he hardly gets any time away from the guest house and hence lives, eats and sleeps there.

Akbar is a driver for a contract vehicle. Whenever the client, executives of a reputed public sector undertaking (PSU); visit the metro, they avail of the services of the vehicle and Akbar has to accompany them on all kinds of assignments (visits to corporate office, conference venues, business meetings, personal shopping, airport pickups and drops, etc.). He spends most of the time either driving or waiting in the vehicle. 

Anthony is a bartender in the club meant as a recreational facility for the executives of a reputed public sector undertaking. During morning and afternoon hours, he cleans up the facility and keeps track of the ‘stock’. Evenings are very busy, serving different drinks and snacks. 

Anamika works as a maidservant in the house of a PSU executive. Her salary is not much, but gets a quarter with water, cooking gas and electricity.  Her job consists of cleaning the floor and washing the utensils. She has a teenaged daughter and her husband works as a carpenter in a local shop. 

There is a common element in all the above stories- all of them are suffering from lifestyle ‘diseases’ such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. This is really shocking, since such diseases are inconsistent with their socio-economic status. A closer look at their lives reveals a change from a life of hard labor to a more sedentary one. Lack of physical exercise and relatively abundant food has made them obese compared to their counterparts in other professions.  However, stressors are ever present in their lives in the form of lack of financial or social security. Anthony died a few months ago, suffering from liver damage.  

The rising financial clout of middle class has boosted the market for domestic help and personal services. This success story is bitter-sweet, if the above characters (real ones, I assure you) provide an evidence.

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