The millennial reality
Let me share the IT sector story (“India’s entitled millennials aren’t the urban poor – they just suffer from poor judgement”). Youngsters are promised shiny jobs by multinational corporations. Most of these kids, after four years of studying engineering in substandard colleges, are more than happy to get financial as well as social freedom through their professional lives. These MNCs invariably send freshers to metro cities, far away from their hometown, where they have no choice but to rent accommodations and eat outside most of the time as they can’t adjust to the local food.
The silly and downright harmful work culture that requires them to put in more than 10 hours of work with little exercise, recreation and immense emotional strain, leaves these people physically and mentally drained by the weekend.
On the weekends, these people spend all their time either catching up on sleep or indulging in hollow enjoyment like shopping and binge eating because they feel they need to reward themselves. And yes, they have families to support and student loans to pay off as well.
The emotional vacuum created by the lack of personal time, family guidance and sheer work pressure drives these youngsters to live beyond their means for a few hours of joy. Yes, it is a case of financial mismanagement, but it is also a larger problem of psychological mismanagement, perpetrated by an extremely harmful capitalist motivation.
Urban poor or not, this population is certainly economically important for the nation and is right now an emotional ticking bomb. – Romita Majumdar
Do we have any data that supports the fact that today’s millennials have sufficient options to choose from, and are ignoring it and spending more than they can afford? Is it not human tendency to choose what we think is best?
I would like to argue that millennials are not spoilt for choices, but lost for choices. Our society is probably at a stage where millennials are not able to find anything that is in line with the value system they are brought up with, so they end up choosing from the other options they have, like the Rs 50 sandwich over a Rs 10 vada pav. – Hariharan S, a 20-something millennial
It’s a good take on the BuzzFeed article, but there is too much focus on pinning the blame.
I don’t understand this – a millennial who earns as much as he/she needs is also not happy, and a worker whose daily salary decides his food is also not happy. The first is a set of people who don’t appreciate what they have, and the latter is not provided with what they need. – Shwetha S
Please let me tell you that the intent of BuzzFeed’s article was completely different from what you have derived. In fact, your article shows BuzzFeed’s piece in bad light, which is completely ridiculous and uncalled for. If your intent was to draw attention to the poverty in the metros and senseless spendthrift behaviour, then please write about it independently, without resorting to calling names and defaming others.
Also, why so much sensitivity towards the term “urban poor”? It is just a catchy term.
Please do not write such articles. In my opinion, you’re the one who suffers from poor judgement. – Ameya J Kamat
Your article gives the impression that only the underprivileged class is poor, and that the young middle class or upper middle class should not be called poor.
I do not agree with your viewpoint. The BuzzFeed article tried to paint a real picture of situations that we do not talk about.
I feel like I am one of the urban poor. There are many like me, who have to endure a lifestyle where nothing is left at the end of the month.
There are many like me who finally find it difficult to have pay their maids or pay rent to their landlords. Also, we have a friend circle who chose to join MNCs and live well, so we have to keep up with their lifestyle.
Maybe you have not experienced such days where you have to borrow from your girlfriend, and you do not want to reveal your financial position to your parents or elders.
Urban poor exist and they not only exist on the streets of Dharavi or the house of your maids, but they exist everywhere. If you are not part of it, please do not deny its existence. – Amit
What Irshad Daftari fails to understand is that what is described in the BuzzFeed article will only be understood by someone who has lived that kind of life.
Usually, people begin working in their early 20s and they are in a phase of their life where they don’t want to save money, and instead experience the things they think were missing in their life. This could include travelling, eating in expensive places, hanging out with friends at cafes - things for which they hesitated to ask their parents money. This is the bit BuzzFeed is talking about.
The problem with your article is that you took the meaning of the term “urban poor” too literally. Of course, there is a formal definition of the same, which you have quoted to be those who earn less than Rs 33 a day. While the BuzzFeed article doesn’t mean it in a literal sense, you’ve taken it to be so.
Also, I don’t know where your informal survey came from but I can say with confidence that two years of experience will not get you a salary of over Rs 50,000 a month across all sectors. That is an insane generalisation to make and I did not expect it from Scroll. – Akshay Agarwal
I quite agree with the points in the Scroll article. However, as I read the original Buzzfeed article (and read it twice again) it seemed to me that the author was speaking about a relatively small class of people: those in the media. And so I must confess, I was somewhat taken aback when I read that people with two years experience earn anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 75,000.
As far as I know media jobs don’t pay an awful lot. And I have a sneaky feeling that that the millennials in the media are the subject of the story. I am pretty sure journalists with two years’ experience don’t earn Rs 50,000.
In any case, I do agree with your opinion that they cannot and must not be called urban poor. – Abhishek Mande