Imagine a scenario. You reached your workplace really late. However, you finished your work bang on time, and wrapped up, ready to go. At any point of time, did you pat yourself for being efficient, or did you feel guilty of not working because you were leaving before hours? If the answer is the former one, then you are an average working-class Indian, and that is exactly why we all are stressed and under a constant pressure most of the time. This is exactly why the mental health of working-class Indians would not be termed adequate, at a given point of time.
Let’s look at some facts here. Average working hours in India are 48-50 a week. Let’s compare the same with some of the other developed nations, given ours is still a developing country. The average working hours in the US is 33, and that in the UK is 40, not to forget that the payscale is much higher than what the corresponding jobs get in our own country. A content writer’s job in the US would fetch one a salary of approximately 42000 US dollars, which converts to an approximate amount of INR 28 lakhs. Even if we knock the 8 lakh accounting for indexing and cost of living, 20 lakh INR for a post which gets offered nothing more than 3.5 lakh back here in India, is a huge amount.
Less pay and more hours contribute a constant tiredness that further evolves into stress and frustration, deteriorating mental health day by day. Most of the employers in India, come with intention of getting ‘cheap labour’ from the country. Yes, that’s true and that is the term in frequent usage for Indian subcontinent workers. Because we believe in working hard, even if that means taking a toil on our mental and physical health, because that is the way we have been brought up; where hours of mugging up a chapter was given prominence over a few hours of understanding the crux and innovating something on the basis of it.
We Indians, the ones who toil first in studies and then in the jobs, are constantly under stress to earn, but our hard work fetches us very less money, as it is grossly devalued. Even if we spend on ourselves and enjoy, the next day we are stressed yet again, so as to how can we earn the money back into our accounts. The constant vicious cycle of earnings and expenditure, where wants and comforts are expensive the salaries earned scarce, leads to a constant sense of dissatisfaction, which leads to expulsion of frustration in various forms, sometimes even criminal. For so much is the build up of disquiet in the mind.
You can credit the stats to lack of proper education and population explosion, which indeed are two contributing factors, but we soon need to solve this issue on a national basis. For in becoming the ‘cheap labour’, we have given our peace and mental health as the cost for it.