Changing Kerala and the Malayali

What drew my attention was an e-mail forward I got about a paper advertisement for coconut tree climbers for an Agri farm in Thrissur. The advertisement offered experienced coconut tree climbers a salary of RS: 7875 per month. This advertisement is said to be the first of its kind in the history of Kerala. It shows nothing else but the pitiful situation Kerala faces today in labour. People have started giving advertisements for labourers – same jobs that were considered menial. 

Kerala has turned out into a state,  where people are getting more self conscious by abandoning menial jobs for status-oriented ones outside. Keralites now more like to say they are engineers, doctors, Nurses, and doing the jobs that would give them some pride in telling others. The new generation don’t like to follow the footsteps of their parents or in other words, they don’t like doing the jobs their parents followed traditionally. The coconut tree climbers are the ones who are fast facing extinction on the job scene. Since the job requires some risk and is paid very less, the people who were traditional coconut tree climbers seemed to have withdrawn from the scene. In the same way many other jobs which are paid less and gives no pride as is perceived, are facing considerably less workforce.

The people in Kerala have changed a lot and so are their habits and lifestyles. People are lazy or find it too hard to do even the household work that were once never an issue. The household works like cooking, cleaning, washing and looking after kids all have turned to be a cumbersome tasks for the most today, in-spite of the assistance of all those home appliances. The Keralites who today gives advertisements for rubber tapping, baby sitting, housemaids and home nurses, in future may give ads for cutting and shaving or even to pick a leaf from the courtyard.

As Malayalies, each one of us may wonder at this situation. If we could change Kerala this much, we can also change ourselves to a hard-working generation by at least doing labour for our own households. What do you say?

Sholto Ramsay

Boss, motivator and general eccentric with a deep love of Kerala and India who just wants everyone to enjoy an amazing and life enhancing experience of Kerala.

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8 Responses

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    I recently saw, though it’s about 3 years old, Arabikkatha. This kind of topic comes in that movie.

    Though it is pitiful that it is easier to find work outside Kerala than within- and the more entrepreneurial fellows in Kerala are from Gujarat and outside Kerala, maybe posting an ad for this will actually start to add value to manual jobs. Every job is equally important and worth….In India labor is quite cheap compared to other places.. and these manual labor jobs are not paid well- that is why people are moving out to better paying jobs. If society can change and add value to the jobs and give more respect to people who do these jobs ( by social interaction, money payments etc…) then maybe people will come back to doing these jobs. One one hand it’s good that there is freedom to choose jobs and people aren’t bound by tradition to keep one job or another, but maybe this will coupled with increased value placed on such jobs (the fact it is being advertised means someone finds this service valuable) that others not traditionally doing this or other manual jobs may do them. The problem is complex, I understand, so what I say here can not cover all the bases that need to be discussed.

    BTW the rate quoted in the ad- is that a rate that is usually paid for this service, or is it more or less?

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • jisha6 says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your response. The coconut tree climbers are usually not paid well. This ad is given by an agri farm and so, may be they have too many coconut trees and find no labour force to maintain. So offering an amount monthly as in ad can create willingness in many who have subsided from this job.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    I recently saw, though it’s about 3 years old, Arabikkatha. This kind of topic comes in that movie.

    Though it is pitiful that it is easier to find work outside Kerala than within- and the more entrepreneurial fellows in Kerala are from Gujarat and outside Kerala, maybe posting an ad for this will actually start to add value to manual jobs. Every job is equally important and worth….In India labor is quite cheap compared to other places.. and these manual labor jobs are not paid well- that is why people are moving out to better paying jobs. If society can change and add value to the jobs and give more respect to people who do these jobs ( by social interaction, money payments etc…) then maybe people will come back to doing these jobs. One one hand it’s good that there is freedom to choose jobs and people aren’t bound by tradition to keep one job or another, but maybe this will coupled with increased value placed on such jobs (the fact it is being advertised means someone finds this service valuable) that others not traditionally doing this or other manual jobs may do them. The problem is complex, I understand, so what I say here can not cover all the bases that need to be discussed.

    BTW the rate quoted in the ad- is that a rate that is usually paid for this service, or is it more or less?

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • jisha6 says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your response. The coconut tree climbers are usually not paid well. This ad is given by an agri farm and so, may be they have too many coconut trees and find no labour force to maintain. So offering an amount monthly as in ad can create willingness in many who have subsided from this job.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    I recently saw, though it’s about 3 years old, Arabikkatha. This kind of topic comes in that movie.

    Though it is pitiful that it is easier to find work outside Kerala than within- and the more entrepreneurial fellows in Kerala are from Gujarat and outside Kerala, maybe posting an ad for this will actually start to add value to manual jobs. Every job is equally important and worth….In India labor is quite cheap compared to other places.. and these manual labor jobs are not paid well- that is why people are moving out to better paying jobs. If society can change and add value to the jobs and give more respect to people who do these jobs ( by social interaction, money payments etc…) then maybe people will come back to doing these jobs. One one hand it’s good that there is freedom to choose jobs and people aren’t bound by tradition to keep one job or another, but maybe this will coupled with increased value placed on such jobs (the fact it is being advertised means someone finds this service valuable) that others not traditionally doing this or other manual jobs may do them. The problem is complex, I understand, so what I say here can not cover all the bases that need to be discussed.

    BTW the rate quoted in the ad- is that a rate that is usually paid for this service, or is it more or less?

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • jisha6 says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your response. The coconut tree climbers are usually not paid well. This ad is given by an agri farm and so, may be they have too many coconut trees and find no labour force to maintain. So offering an amount monthly as in ad can create willingness in many who have subsided from this job.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    I recently saw, though it’s about 3 years old, Arabikkatha. This kind of topic comes in that movie.

    Though it is pitiful that it is easier to find work outside Kerala than within- and the more entrepreneurial fellows in Kerala are from Gujarat and outside Kerala, maybe posting an ad for this will actually start to add value to manual jobs. Every job is equally important and worth….In India labor is quite cheap compared to other places.. and these manual labor jobs are not paid well- that is why people are moving out to better paying jobs. If society can change and add value to the jobs and give more respect to people who do these jobs ( by social interaction, money payments etc…) then maybe people will come back to doing these jobs. One one hand it’s good that there is freedom to choose jobs and people aren’t bound by tradition to keep one job or another, but maybe this will coupled with increased value placed on such jobs (the fact it is being advertised means someone finds this service valuable) that others not traditionally doing this or other manual jobs may do them. The problem is complex, I understand, so what I say here can not cover all the bases that need to be discussed.

    BTW the rate quoted in the ad- is that a rate that is usually paid for this service, or is it more or less?

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • jisha6 says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for your response. The coconut tree climbers are usually not paid well. This ad is given by an agri farm and so, may be they have too many coconut trees and find no labour force to maintain. So offering an amount monthly as in ad can create willingness in many who have subsided from this job.

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