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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the charms of outsourcing

The Americans outsource their activities because they take advantage of the time difference and one of the reasons is that while the Americans sleep, we are fully awake – hence, their activities are not confined to eight or twelve hours but encompass all of twenty four hours: half belongs to them, the other half belongs to us Indians who have embraced the new way of life and living. Another reason is the cheap labor we offer.

It was therefore interesting to learn that there is a scheme of outsourcing homework of children and project work of those who do not have the time to go around collecting information that needs to be compiled and submitted as per the rules in force. Obviously, the system has its positive points and has found enough supporters. At present, this profession is a close knit one with knowledgeable persons arranging the give-and-take method of propagating learning – give rupees and take the bound volumes. It can be presumed that, given some more time, there may be coaching classes to train interested persons in the art of extending such exclusive support – the syllabus would include reference of local libraries where one can lay hands on certain type of reading material. And, to make the training attractive enough, there could be guaranteed earnings of five thousand per month – in your spare time. Work from home has never been this easy!

In this connection, I am reminded of outsourcing the work of the kitchen – with both husband and wife working to take care of the innumerable installments committed to, they have little or no spare time to sit down to prepare chapattis: hence, the local aunty is available, she supplies hot oven fresh chapattis. As the couple waits in the car and munches the burgers or shares a plate of chat, the mausi prepares the dinner packets and carries them over to the car. During festivals, she puts up for sale delicacies that used to be once prepared by the aged members of the families. Alas, with elders absent in the households of the youngsters of today, their desire for those delicacies are met by aunty-ji or mausi-ji. How she is addressed is immaterial, what she offers is more important.

When we outsourced childcare via crèches, not many eyebrows were raised. Outsourcing of the kitchen was not abnormal. We have now taken the step of outsourcing schoolwork. The next step would probably to outsource birth of babies via surrogate mothers. But, one thing that can never be outsourced is death.

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