This past week, the Prime Minister launched the Start-Up India. For more than a fortnight now, we are seeing TV advertisement of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), or Skill India, which has a funny message — “Chalo Kaam Karein”.
How should we look at Start-up and Kaushal Vikas Yojna?
I think the best way to look at them is from the salary point of view. If Start-up India can be linked to employment generation and the Kaushal Vikas Yojna, as supplier of trained man-power, then looking the two from salary perspective is not that out of line. BTW, they can be linked that way as the Government itself is presenting them like that.
Thus the above programmes will be considered a success, if they help people get employed on wages which are adequate to help them live a decent Life.
When we talk of salaries, then I have always believed that the Salary or Pay (money that is duly paid for the work done) should be tangible. That’s a salary shouldn’t be simply for the sake of it. It should be adequate to help a person not only live a decent life but also take care of his immediate family. The salary must clearly take into account the time for which a person has to work and the money he receives. Making people work for 12 hours a day, six days a week and 365 days a year; for very small salaries or parasitic salaries; is not good.
It’s not good because if the employer is not paying adequate salary, then he should not demand 12-14 hours of the day. Instead the person must be paid decently on an hourly basis and must be left free to earn more for the time he/she is not employed. Employing people on an hourly basis is an established practice throughout world, hence there’s no reason why people in India can’t be employed that way. Making a person work for 12-14 hours a day and paying him/her Rs 3000-8000 per month is NOT GOOD.
If the basic idea of the Modi Government is to train young men & women and provide cheap man-power to the industries and start-ups, then we are moving the China Way. And that’s not good. If that happens, then farmers may be displaced from their lands, young men and women may be towed down from villages to cities and may be made to work for long hours on paltry wages.
Ideally, work for the sake of it, is not fulfilling. If a person can’t feed his/her family well after a month’s work; then it’s better to give him and his family food for no work, under food security scheme. As this way, the person can think of complementing his/her income by some other income. An excellent example is MNREGA (Employment Security launched by the Manmohan Singh led UPA Government). A person getting work for 100 days, is free to do any work for the rest of 265 days.
It’s important for any young man or woman understand that any skill is valuable, only if it helps you earn a dignified living. Working for the sake of Work, looks good only in fairy tales. Do make sure that : When You Work, You’re paid Well.
A small suggestion to Modi Government: Please value the Indian labour (anyone who is employed).