DR. SUMAYA FIRDOUS
With the global impact of privatization, less public avenues, job drought, increasing consumerism, increasing population, Pandemic, closure of smaller industrial units, uncertainty in educational institutes, and dismal performance of public sector, contractual assignments have become a new norm. Temporary jobs, or contractual jobs, these days is a common phenomenon working beautifully for the private sector and to a sizable count for public sector as well. The competitive environs in both private and public sector has forced the recruiting agencies to identify the most appropriate and flexible ways to deal with their requirements and need based contingencies. Decades before Pandemic, and importantly after the Pandemic and recent economic recession throughout world, and in India equally, recruiting agencies used a workforce more flexibly and effectively than in the case of conventional permanent jobs and contracts. One of the reasons for recruiting agencies and the organisations or the institution including the public sector could be the competition and the availability of a huge number of unemployed human resource, which they use for better gains and sustainability, irrespective of the fact that most of the human resource hired on contractual basis or temporary means has to go through a lot of thin and thick.
The trend of hiring or contracting human resource has been seen satisfying for less talented, or for the jobless who are relatively comfortable with such environment and work tactics. The ill- trained work force in industrial sector and other private sector avenues and the less qualified staffers in various organisations including education could have certain positive effects in terms of organisational monopoly and economic hegemony of employer, but it has been seen that occupational health risk, insecurity, anxiety, vulnerability and other co-related factors can have very negative impact too. Severe effects of repetitive, monotonous work, maladjustment, demotivation, worker dissatisfaction, home sickness, cultural and ethnic diversity related issues are also the factors which could affect the lives of the human resource used for non-permanent jobs or temporary assignments.
Contractualization or providing temporary job is actually paying less for the same job to a vulnerable and a desperate human being with all its subtleties and capitalist manoeuvres. The services of a person are hired for a period without addressing the fact that what could be the fall out of such “Human Sale” on the psychological, mental, social and economic being of that person. At many places within thousands of organization or institutions, this human hiring may be beneficial for both, but in this part of the world, the human hiring is a disgrace and a mere blackmail. I have been a part of this ugly sale from quite some time along with thousands of people in the Educational Sector. The pounding impact of these hired jobs is always excruciating for a section of human resource who actually have been dreaming of a calm and silent life ahead when they were going through a tough phase of acquiring knowledge for passing it on to next generations. But, one could see these powerhouses of knowledge and wisdom lying under the debris of contractual mode of employment. Often we could see these ill-fated scholars on roads demanding for their better future and regularization.
This contractual life leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of employees, the genesis of which is difficult to understand unless experienced. Such contract jobs may augur well for industrial or other sectors, but as far as educational sector is concerned, such jobs have a deeper and a very ill effect on the overall wellbeing of a teacher. A teacher has always to be in a calm, so that the students at the receiving end are benefitted. Insecurity of job and other associated insecurities like regional bias, provincial bias, permanent-temporary conflict, male-female conflict, and accommodation issues are the factors which are surprisingly permanent in these non-permanent jobs. With every new session, contract teachers have to express who they are and to distinguish themselves from others, especially when posted out of the district or the province. Gradually, they continue to relate personally to that homeland in one way or another, and their ethno-communal consciousness and solidarity are importantly defined in terms of the existence of such a relationship. They try to be the member or citizen of that area although for a few months with all the insecurities, ambiguities, and neuroses associated with that condition. Sometimes, it seems that this contractual system, once an object of suspicion, has become one of fascination. If one wishes to create some order in his life, he begins his new session with this question that what sort of location and situation he or she has to deal with. To live in diversity is easy but to teach in such diversities after each session is tough to tackle. It is always like shedding a skin of identity at the last attended place and wear a new one at the other place.
When personal identities are to be proven at the beginning of a new season every time, the real human wrapped in the attire of an emotional and psychological entity is no less than a silk cocoon; dead and useless inside. No matter whether a new place is a heaven or a more beautiful place than heaven, it will always be foreign. Adapting to new environs, new people, new rules take a heavy toll of ones nerves and other faculties. Making a first step out at every new place is probably the scariest part of any new contract job, especially for a woman. Insecurity and other monetary issues are equally challenging for people on contract jobs. There seems to be a less hope in future for job securities concerning the fact that present day world is sustained over a razor’s edge and could fall anytime for a deep bleeding cut. Hope, we live far from than the edge of that razor.
Dr. Sumaya Firdous is a lecturer and teaches English at Degree College Kishtwar.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.